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39 facts you must know about Dhoni

By LAXMI NEGI
August 17, 2020 18:25 IST
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So we won't be seeing Mahi wield his willow in an international game again.

There is sadness reading about Dhoni's departure from the cricketing world stage, but also wonderment at haveing seen him in action.

Chasing impossible totals with nonchalance.

Whipping off the bails with abracadabra before the opposing batsman could figure out what was happening.

How we will miss him!

Laxmi Negi picks 39* nuggets about Mahendra Singh Dhoni you need to know:

MS Dhoni

Photographs except when otherwise credited: Kind courtesy BCCI

1. Dhoni retired after 16 years on the international stage. He scored more than 15,000 international runs.

2. Even after he made his Ranji Trophy debut at the age of 18 in 2000, he was employed as a ticket collector at the Kharagpur railway station in West Bengal between 2001 and 2003.

3. He later joined Air-India. He represented the national airline in the BCCI Corporate Trophy in 2009. Dhoni gave up his Air-India job in 2013.

MS Dhoni

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid during an India nets session at the ECB National Academy Centre at Lougborough University in Loughborough, July 25, 2007. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

4.Dhoni was recommended as Team India's skipper by Sachin Tendulkar.

Rahul Dravid had stepped down as captain after the 2007 World Cup debacle where India was knocked out in the first round.

The new skipper had a dream start, winning the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in South Africa.

MS Dhoni

5. Dhoni is the only captain to have won all ICC trophies -- T20 World Cup in 2007, ODI World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013.

6. In 90 Tests, Dhoni scored 4,876 runs with 256 catches and 38 stumpings. In December 2014, he announced his retirement from Test cricket, abruptly in the middle of India's tour of Australia.

7. Dhoni played 350 ODIs with his highest score being 183 against Sri Lanka, amassing 10,773 runs with 321 catches and 123 stumpings.

8. In T20Is, Dhoni aggregated 1,617 runs with 57 catches and 34 stumpings.

9. The swashbuckler has scored nine ODI centuries and two of those tons came from batting at No 7.

The most by any captain who has played at the lower-order position.

10. Dhoni has won most T20I games as captain.

He captained India in 70 T20I matches and his team won 41 of them.

MS Dhoni

IMAGE: Dhoni with the 2011 ODI World Cup at the Gateway of India. Photograph: Ritam Banerjee/Getty Images

11. Dhoni captained India when the team rose to the No 1 spot in the Test rankings for the first time in 2009.

Dhoni was also the most successful Indian captain with 27 Test wins, eclipsing the legendary Sourav Ganguly's 21 victories.

12. Dhoni spent 656 days as the top-ranked batsman in the ICC Men's ODI Player Rankings from 2006 to 2010 and was the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009.

13. He was in the ICC ODI Teams of the Year in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and in the ICC Test Teams of the Year in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. He won the ICC Spirit of Cricket award in 2011.

14. Dhoni =has hit the most international sixes as captain.

MS Dhoni

Photograph: Kind courtesy MS Dhoni/Instagram

15. Dhoni is the only cricketer to feature in nine IPL finals. He has won the tournament thrice with the Chennai Super Kings in 2010, 2011 and 2018.

16. Dhoni is the only player in the history of IPL to lead a team -- CSK -- to over 100 wins.

17. The sight of him taking off his gloves and bowling in the Lord's Test in 2011, even before lunch, angered another World Cup-winning captain, the mighty Kapil Dev.

Where would another 'keeper remove pads and gloves and roll his arm over when the game was at a competitive stage?

18. Dhoni has picked up one wicket in international cricket -- against the West Indies during the 2009 Champions Trophy.

MS Dhoni

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Virat Kohli. Photograph: BCCI

19. In 2017, he handed over the captaincy to Virat Kohli in the 50-over format. The wicket-keeper enjoys a great camaraderie with the latter.

20. Dhoni is the only captain to lead his side in all six T20 World Cups.

21. Dhoni holds the record of playing the highest innings by an Indian wicket-keeper in the longest format. In 2013, Dhoni scored 224 against Australia in Chennai. He is also the only Indian wicket-keeper-batsman to score a double-century in Test cricket.

22. Dhoni was not in favour of the Decision Review System. It was no surprise that he would ce the DRS after India began embracing the technology. Dubbed as the 'Dhoni Review System' by his fans, the Ranchi boy gets DRS calls right more often than not.

23. On April 5, 2005 Dhoni registered his first international century. He scored 148 against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam.

24. He last played a competitive cricket match against New Zealand on July 9, 2019 during the World Cup.

25. Dhoni missed out on making it to the U-19 World Cup team back in 2000. Ajay Ratra was selected as the wicket-keeper.

26. Dhoni's first Love: 'I love my country, I tell my wife she is only the third most important after my country and my parents, in that order.'

27.MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, starring Sushant Singh Rajput in the title role, was released on September 30, 2016.

MS Dhoni

IMAGE: 'Even two golf sets doesn't help my golf game get better', Dhoni captioned the pic. Photograph: MS Dhoni/Instagram

28. Dhoni tried his hand at golf and participated in maiden golf tournament in the US.

29. Dhoni wore the jersey number 7. He has a special preference for the number since his birthday is on July 7. July too is the 7th month on the calendar. So the number seven keeps repeating in various forms for Dhoni.

30. His favourite actor is John Abraham. His long hairstyle from his initial years of international cricket were inspired by John.

31. Dhoni played badminton and football and was selected to represent district and club in both sports in Jharkhand where his Uttarakhand native parents had settled down.

His reflexes as wicket-keeper are still arguably the best in the business and that can be attributed to the fact that he started out as a goal-keeper in football.

It wasn't until he was in Class 10 that Mahi decided to focus on cricket.

Mahi remains an avid soccer fan and is a co-owner -- along with Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani -- of Chennaiyin FC, the football team who participates in the Indian Super League.

32. Dhoni is also a huge WWE fan. His favourite wrestlers are Bret the 'Hitman' Hart and Hulk Hogan.

33. Dhoni loves old Hindi movie melodies. His favourite singer is Kishore Kumar, a fondness he shares with Virender Sehwag (who sang Kishore Kumar songs when batting!)

34. An honourary lieutenant colonel in the Parachute Regiment -- India's Special Forces -- Mahi's wicket-keeping gloves in the first two games at last year's World Cup had a military touch.

Army green and navy blue with the Para regimental dagger insignia clearly visible.

After the gloves kicked up a ruckus, the ICC forced Dhoni to settle for something more conventional.

35. Dhoni was the most expensive signing at the first IPL players auction, contracted by the Chennai Super Kings for $1.5 million.

36.On his ODI debut, Dhoni scored a duck against Bangladesh, out run out.

37. His motorcycle obsession is well-known. The X132 Hellcat is one of the many bikes in Dhoni's collection.

He also owns a team -- the MSD R-N Racing Team India -- in the FIM Supersport World Championship. It was later named Mahi Racing Team India; Telugu movie star Nagarjuna is an investor in the team.

38. Dhoni made the helicopter shot a trademark of his ODI batting. He was taught the shot by a close friend, Jharkhand cricketer Santosh Lal.

MS Dhoni

39. Dhoni is a self-proclaimed 'absolute pet-lover'. Dhoni has dogs at home in Ranchi and he once said he loves going back to them after a series because they treat him the same, whether he has won or lost.

*39 in honour of Dhoni's age. The cricket legend was born on July 7, 1981.

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