Mahendra Singh Dhoni (  ; commonly known as M. S. Dhoni; born 7 July 1981) is an Indian cricketer and the current captain of the Indian national cricket team in limited-overs formats. An attacking right-handed middle-order batsman and wicket-keeper, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers in limited-overs cricket. He made his One Day International (ODI) debut in December 2004 against Bangladesh, and played his first Test a year later against Sri Lanka.

Dhoni holds numerous captaincy records such as most wins by an Indian captain in Tests and ODIs, and most back-to-back wins by an Indian captain in ODIs. He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 and led the team to its first-ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the CB Series of 2007–08, the 2010 Asia Cup, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. In the final of the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni scored 91 not out off 79 balls handing India the victory for which he was awarded the Man of the Match. In June 2013, when India defeated England in the final of the Champions Trophy in England, Dhoni became the first captain to win all three ICC limited-overs trophies (World Cup, Champions Trophy and the World Twenty20). After taking up the Test captaincy in 2008, he led the team to series wins in New Zealand and West Indies, and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2013. In 2009, Dhoni also led the Indian team to number one position for the first time in the ICC Test rankings. In 2013, under his captaincy, India became the first team in more than 40 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. In the Indian Premier League, he captained the Chennai Super Kings to victory at the 2010 and 2011 seasons, along with wins in the 2010 and 2014 editions of Champions League Twenty20. He announced his retirement from Tests on 30 December 2014. Dhoni holds the record for the most number of sixes in International Cricket by an Indian and is 5th across the World having hit 304 sixes in 448 innings behind Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum and Sanath Jayasuriya subsequently.

Dhoni holds the post of Vice-President of India Cements Ltd., after resigning from Air India. India Cements is the owner of the IPL team Chennai Super Kings, and Dhoni has been its captain since the first IPL season. Dhoni is the co-owner of Indian Super League team Chennaiyin FC.

Dhoni has been the recipient of many awards, including the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009 (the first player to win the award twice), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007 and the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, in 2009. He was named as the captain of ICC World Test XI and ICC World ODI XI teams for 2009. The Indian Territorial Army conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel to Dhoni on 1 November 2011. He is the second Indian cricketer after Kapil Dev to have received this honour. In 2011, Time magazine included Dhoni in its annual Time 100 list as one of the "Most Influential People in the World." In 2012, SportsPro rated Dhoni as the sixteenth most marketable athlete in the world. In June 2015, Forbes ranked Dhoni at 23rd in the list of highest paid athletes in the world, estimating his earnings at US$31 million.

Early life and background

Dhoni was born in Ranchi, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), and he identifies as being a Rajput. His paternal village Lvali is in the Lamgarha block of the Almora District of Uttarakhand. Dhoni's parents, moved from Uttarakhand to Ranchi where his father Pan Singh worked in junior management positions in MECON. Dhoni has a sister Jayanti Gupta and a brother Narendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni is a fan of Adam Gilchrist, and his childhood idols were cricket teammate Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and singer Lata Mangeshkar

Dhoni studied at DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali, Ranchi, Jharkhand where he initially excelled in badminton and football and was selected at district and club level in these sports. Dhoni was a goalkeeper for his football team and was sent to play cricket for a local cricket club by his football coach. Though he had not played cricket, Dhoni impressed with his wicket-keeping skills and became the regular wicketkeeper at the Commando cricket club (1995–1998). Based on his performance at club cricket, he was picked for the 1997/98 season Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-16 Championship and he performed well. Dhoni focused on cricket after his 10th standard. Dhoni was a Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur railway station from 2001 to 2003, under South Eastern Railway in Midnapore (W), a district in West Bengal. His colleagues remember him as a very honest, straightforward employee of the Indian Railways. But he also had a mischievous side to his personality. Once, while staying at the railway quarters, Dhoni and a couple of his friends covered themselves in white bedsheets and walked around in the complex late in the night. The night guards were fooled into believing that there were ghosts moving around in the complex. The story made big news on the next day.

Early career

Junior cricket in Bihar

In 1998 Dhoni was selected by Deval Sahay to play for the Central Coal Fields Limited (CCL) team. Till 1998 Dhoni, who was in class 12th in school, had played only school cricket and club cricket and no professional cricket. One of the famous episode when Dhoni used to play for CCL was when Deval Sahay used to gift him Rs 50 for each six that he hit. Deval Sahay, an ex Bihar Cricket Association Vice-President, was the Ranchi District Cricket President at that time and was instrumental in pushing Dhoni to the big stage of Ranchi team and eventually senior Bihar Ranji Team for the 1999-2000 season. Dhoni was included in the Bihar U-19 squad for the 1998–99 season and scored 176 runs in 5 matches (7 innings) as the team finished fourth in the group of six and did not make it to the quarter-finals. Dhoni was not picked for the East Zone U-19 squad (CK Nayudu Trophy) or Rest of India squad (MA Chidambaram Trophy and Vinoo Mankad Trophy). Bihar U-19 cricket team advanced to the finals of the 1999–2000 Cooch Behar Trophy where Dhoni made 84 to help Bihar post a total of 357. Bihar's efforts were dwarfed by Punjab U-19s' 839 with Dhoni's future national squad teammate Yuvraj Singh making 358. Dhoni's contribution in the tournament included 488 runs (9 matches, 12 innings), 5 fifties, 17 catches and 7 stumpings. Dhoni made it to the East Zone U-19 squad for the CK Nayudu trophy but scored only 97 runs in four matches as East Zone lost all four matches and finished last in the tournament.

Bihar cricket team

Dhoni made his Ranji Trophy debut for Bihar in the 1999–2000 season as an eighteen-year-old. He made a half century in his debut match scoring 68* in the second innings against Assam cricket team. Dhoni finished the season with 283 runs in 5 matches. Dhoni scored his maiden first-class century while playing for Bihar against Bengal in the 2000/01 season in a losing cause. Apart from this century, his performance in the 2000/01 season did not include another score over fifty and in the 2001/02 season he scored just five fifties in four Ranji matches.

Jharkhand cricket team

Dhoni's performance in the 2002–03 season included three half-centuries in the Ranji Trophy and a couple of half-centuries in the Deodhar Trophy as he started gaining recognition for his lower-order contribution as well as hard-hitting batting style. In the 2003/04 season, Dhoni scored a century (128*) against Assam in the first match of the Ranji ODI tournament. He was part of the East Zone squad that won the Deodhar Trophy that year and contributed with 244 runs in 4 matches. In the Duleep Trophy finals, Dhoni was picked over international cricketer Deep Dasgupta to represent East Zone. He scored a fighting half-century in the second innings in a losing cause.

Dhoni's talent was discovered via the BCCI's small-town talent-spotting initiative TRDW. Dhoni was discovered by TRDO Prakash Poddar, captain of Bengal in the 1960s, when he saw Dhoni play for Jharkhand at a match in Jamshedpur in 2003, and sent a report to the National Cricket Academy.

India A team

He was recognised for his efforts in the 2003/04 season, especially in the ODI format and was picked for the India A squad for a tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya. Against the Zimbabwe XI in Harare Sports Club, Dhoni had his best wicket-keeping effort with 7 catches and 4 stumpings in the match. In the tri-nation tournament involving Kenya, India A and Pakistan A, Dhoni helped India A chase down their target of 223 against Pakistan A with a half-century. Continuing his good performance, he scored back to back centuries – 120 and 119* – against the same team. Dhoni scored 362 runs in 6 innings at an average of 72.40 and his performance in the series received attention from the then Indian captain – Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri amongst others. However, the India A team coach Sandeep Patil recommended Dinesh Karthik for a place in the Indian squad as wicket-keeper/batsman.

ODI career

The Indian ODI team in the early 2000s saw Rahul Dravid as the wicket-keeper to ensure that the wicket-keeper spot didn't lack in batting talent. The team also saw the entry of wicket-keeper/batsmen from the junior ranks with talents like Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik (both India U-19 captains) named in the Test squads. With Dhoni making a mark in the India A squad, he was picked in the ODI squad for the Bangladesh tour in 2004/05. Dhoni did not have a great start to his ODI career, getting run out for a duck on debut. In spite of an average series against Bangladesh, Dhoni was picked for the Pakistan ODI series. In the second match of the series, Dhoni, in his fifth one-day international, scored 148 in Visakhapatnam off only 123 deliveries. Dhoni's 148 surpassed the earlier record for the highest score by an Indian wicket-keeper, a record that he would re-write before the end of the year.

Dhoni had few batting opportunities in the first two games of the Sri Lankan bilateral ODI series (October–November 2005) and was promoted to No. 3 in the third ODI at Sawai Mansingh Stadium (Jaipur). Sri Lanka had set India a target of 299 after a Kumar Sangakkara century and, in reply, India lost Tendulkar early. Dhoni was promoted to accelerate the scoring and ended the game with an unbeaten 183 off 145 balls, winning the game for India. The innings was described in Wisden Almanack (2006) as 'Uninhibited, yet anything but crude'. The innings set various records including the highest individual score in ODI cricket in the second innings, a record that still stands. Dhoni ended the series with the highest run aggregate (346) and was awarded the Man of the Series award for his efforts. In December 2005, Dhoni was rewarded a B-grade contract by the BCCI.

India scored 328 in 50 overs with Dhoni contributing 68 in their first match of 2006 against Pakistan. However, the team finished poorly scoring just 43 runs in the last eight overs and lost the match due to Duckworth-Lewis method. In the third match of the series, Dhoni came in with India in a precarious situation and scored 72 runs off just 46 balls that included 13 boundaries to help India take a 2–1 lead in the series. The final match of the series had a repeat performance as Dhoni scored 77 runs off 56 balls to enable India win the series 4–1. Due to his consistent ODI performances, Dhoni overtook Ricky Ponting as number one in the ICC ODI Rankings for batsmen on 20 April 2006. His reign lasted just a week as Adam Gilchrist's performance against Bangladesh moved him to the top spot.

Two cancelled series in Sri Lanka, one due to the withdrawal of South Africa from the Unitech Cup due to security concerns and the replacement three-match ODI bilateral series against Sri Lanka washed due to rain, was India's prelude to another disappointing tournament – DLF Cup 2006-07. Dhoni scored 43 runs as the team lost twice in three games and did not qualify for the finals. India's lack of preparation showed in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy as they lost to West Indies and Australia, though Dhoni scored a half-century against West Indies. The story of the ODI series in South Africa was the same for both Dhoni and India as Dhoni scored 139 runs in 4 matches and India lost the series 4–0. From the start of the West Indies ODI series, Dhoni had played 16 matches, hit just two fifties and averaged 25.93. Dhoni received criticism on his wicket-keeping technique from former wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani.

Preparations for the 2007 Cricket World Cup improved as India recorded identical 3–1 victories over West Indies and Sri Lanka and Dhoni had averages in excess of 100 in both these series. However, India unexpectedly crashed out the World Cup after losses to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the group stage. Dhoni was out for a duck in both these matches and scored just 29 runs in the tournament. After the loss to Bangladesh in 2007 Cricket World Cup, the house that Dhoni was constructing in his home-town Ranchi was vandalised and damaged by political activists of JMM. The local police arranged for security for his family as India exited the World Cup in the first round.

Dhoni put his disappointing performances in the World Cup behind him by scoring 91* against Bangladesh after India were left in a tight spot earlier in the run-chase. Dhoni was declared the Man of the Match for his performance, his fourth in ODI cricket. He was also later adjudged the Man of the Series after the third game of the series was washed away. Dhoni had a good Afro-Asia Cup, scoring 174 runs in 3 matches at an average of 87.00, with a blitzkrieg 139 not out of 97 balls, a Man of the Match innings, in the third ODI.

Dhoni was named vice-captain of the ODI team for the series against South Africa in Ireland and the subsequent India-England seven-match ODI series. Dhoni, who received a 'B' grade contract in December 2005, was awarded an 'A' grade contract in June 2007. And also he was elected as captain of the Indian squad for the World Twenty20 in September 2007. On 2 September 2007, Dhoni equaled his idol Adam Gilchrist's international record for the most dismissals in an innings in ODI by catching five English players and stumping one. He led India to the ICC World Twenty 20 trophy in South Africa with a victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in an intensely fought final on 24 September 2007, and became the second Indian captain to have won a World Cup in any form of cricket, after Kapil Dev. During the series between India and Australia, Dhoni hit an aggressive 124 runs in just 107 balls, in the second ODI, and a measured knock of 71 runs in 95 balls, along with Yuvraj Singh, saw India home by 6 wickets, in the third ODI. Dhoni took his first wicket in international cricket on 30 September 2009. He bowled Travis Dowlin of the West Indies during a match of the 2009 Champions Trophy.

Dhoni topped the ICC ODI Batsman rankings for several months in 2009. Michael Hussey from Australia replaced him at the top spot at the beginning of 2010.

Dhoni had an excellent year in ODIs in 2009 scoring 1198 runs in just 24 innings at an astonishing average of 70.43. Dhoni was also the joint top-scorer in ODIs in 2009 along with Ricky Ponting, but the latter having played in 30 innings.

On 12 February 2012, Dhoni made an unbeaten 44 to guide India to their first win over Australia at Adelaide. In the final over, he hit a monstrous six which traveled 112 metres off the bowling of Clint McKay. During the post-match presentation, he described this six as more important than the one he hit during the ICC World Cup final in 2011.

On 2 November 2013, Dhoni became the second India batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to aggregate 1,000 or more ODI-runs against Australia.

Test career

Following his good one-day performance against Sri Lanka, Dhoni replaced Dinesh Karthik in December 2005 as the Indian Test wicket-keeper. Dhoni scored 30 runs in his debut match that was marred by rain. Dhoni came to the crease when the team was struggling at 109/5 and as wickets kept falling around him, he played an aggressive innings and was the last man dismissed. Dhoni made his maiden half-century in the second Test and his quick scoring rate (half century came off 51 balls) aided India to set a target of 436 and the Sri Lankans were bowled out for 247.

India toured Pakistan in January–February 2006 and Dhoni scored his maiden century in the second Test at Faisalabad. India was left in a tight spot as Dhoni was joined by Irfan Pathan with the team still 107 away from avoiding a follow-on. Dhoni played his typical aggressive innings as he brought up his maiden Test hundred in just 93 balls after scoring the first fifty in just 34 deliveries.

Dhoni followed the century up with some prosaic batting performances over the next three matches, one against Pakistan that India lost and two against England that had India holding a 1–0 lead. Dhoni was the top scorer in India's first innings in the third Test at Wankhede Stadium as his 64 aided India post a respectable 279 in reply to England's 400. However Dhoni and the Indian fielders dropped catches and missed many dismissal chances including a key stumping opportunity of Andrew Flintoff (14). Dhoni failed to collect the Harbhajan Singh delivery cleanly as Flintoff went on to make 36 more runs as England set a target of 313 for the home team, a target that Indian were never in the reckoning. A batting collapse saw the team being dismissed for 100 and Dhoni scored just 5 runs and faced criticism for his wicket-keeping lapses as well as his shot selections.

On the West Indies tour in 2006, Dhoni scored a quick and aggressive 69 in the first Test at Antigua. The rest of the series was unremarkable for Dhoni as he scored 99 runs in the remaining 6 innings but his wicket-keeping skills improved and he finished the series with 13 catches and 4 stumpings. In the Test series in South Africa later that year, Dhoni's scores of 34 and 47 were not sufficient to save the second Test against the Proteas as India lost the series 2–1, squandering the chance to build on their first ever Test victory in South Africa (achieved in the first Test match). Dhoni's bruised hands ruled him out of the third Test match.

On the fourth day of the first Test match at Antigua Recreation Ground, St John's, Antigua during India's tour of West Indies, 2006, Dhoni's flick off Dave Mohammed to the midwicket region was caught by Daren Ganga. As the batsman started to walk back, captain Dravid declared the innings when confusion started as the umpires were not certain if the fielder stepped on the ropes and Dhoni stayed for the umpire's verdict. While the replays were inconclusive, the captain of the West Indies side, Brian Lara, wanted Dhoni to walk off based on the fielder's assertion of the catch. The impasse continued for more than 15 minutes and Lara's temper was on display with finger wagging against the umpires and snatching the ball from umpire Asad Rauf. Ultimately, Dhoni walked off and Dravid's declaration was effected but the game was delayed, and Lara's action was criticised by the commentators and former players. Lara was summoned by the match referee to give an explanation of his actions but he was not fined.

Dhoni scored two centuries in Sri Lanka's tour of India in 2009, a series of three matches in which he led India to a 2–0 victory. With this feat, India soared up to the number one position in Test cricket for the first time in history. India scored 726–9 (decl) in the third match of this series, which is their highest Test total ever.

He played his last series in the 2014–15 season in India's tour of Australia captaining India in the second and third tests; losing the second and drawing the third, trailing the series 2–0 before the Sydney Test. Following the third Test in Melbourne, Dhoni announced his retirement from the format. In his last Test, he effected 9 dismissals (8 catches and 1 stumping), and in the process, went past Kumar Sangakkara in the record for stumpings with 134 (in all three formats combined) and also broke the record for effecting the most dismissals in a match by an Indian wicketkeeper. He finished his last innings unbeaten making 24 runs.

Captain of India

Dhoni was named the captain of Indian squad for the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa in September 2007. India were crowned champions as Dhoni led the team to victory against Pakistan in a thrilling contest. He, then, went on to become the ODI captain of the Indian team for the seven-match ODI series against Australia in September 2007. He made his debut as full-time Test captain of India during the fourth and final Test against Australia at Nagpur in November 2008 replacing Anil Kumble who was injured in the third test and who then announced his retirement. Dhoni was vice-captain in this series up to that point. India eventually won that Test thus clinching the series 2–0 and retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Dhoni had previously captained India on a stand-in basis against South Africa and Australia in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

It was under his captaincy that India climbed to No. 1 in the ICC Test Rankings in December 2009. After that he managed to lead India in a series-leveling world championship of Tests against the South Africans in February 2010. India also managed to draw the Test series 1–1 in South Africa later that year.

After winning the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final against Sri Lanka on 2 April 2011 with his match winning knock of unbeaten 91, Tendulkar heaped praises on Dhoni, claiming him to be the best captain he has played under. Tendulkar mentioned that it was Dhoni's calm influence that was rubbing off on all his team-mates and described Dhoni's handling of pressure was incredible.

Only nine players have captained ten or more Tests playing as a wicket-keeper. Dhoni leads the table with 33 Tests as captain, 15 ahead of Gerry Alexander in second place.

In March 2013, Dhoni became the most successful Indian Test captain when he eclipsed Sourav Ganguly’s record of 21 victories from 49 Tests. Ganguly also said in an interview to a news channel that Dhoni is the all-time greatest captain of India and he has a great record to support this credential.

In August 2016, Dhoni was selected as captain for India's first tour to the United States, where India played two T20Is against the West Indies in Lauderhill, Florida. India lost the first match on 27 August 2016, during which Dhoni surpassed former Australian captain Ricky Ponting to become the most experienced captain in international cricket.

Match bans

As captain of the Indian cricket team, Dhoni has seldom been suspended due to his team's slow over rate. In December 2009 he was suspended for two ODI matches against Sri Lanka by ICC match referee Jeff Crowe as India was three overs short of the specified rate; Virender Sehwag ated as captain for the two matches in Cuttack and Kolkata. In January 2012 Dhoni was banned for the fourth Test match against Australia in Adelaide as India was two overs short during the third Test in Perth. Sehwag captained the team in the Adelaide test and Wriddhiman Saha kept the wickets. In the CB Series in February, Dhoni again faced a one match ban for slow-over rate against Australia.

World Cup

Dhoni has captained India in two World Cups. Under his captaincy, India won the World Cup in 2011 and reached the semifinals in 2015.

2007 Cricket World Cup

Dhoni played his first ODI World Cup in 2007 at the Caribbean. India made an early exit from the tournament in the Group Stage. In 2007 Cricket World Cup, India was placed in Group B with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bermuda. Rahul Dravid captained the team in this World Cup. In three matches India played, they managed to win only one against Bermuda while losing the rest from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In their first match against Bangladesh, India was all out in just 191 in 49.3 overs. Dhoni was out for 0. He stumped Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and captain Habibul Bashar in the match but, India lost by 5 wickets. In the next match against Bermuda, India posted the then Highest Score in the World Cup 413/5 in a must-win match. Dhoni scored 29 off 25 Balls which includes Two 4s and One 6. India won the match by 257 runs. India was required to win their last group match against the Lankans but they lost by 69 runs. Chasing the target of 255, India crumbled to 185 all out in 43.3 overs. Dhoni was out for 0 for the second time in the tournament in his very first ball by Muttiah Muralitharan. Thus, India was out of the world cup in very first round. The Team was heavily criticized for their performance. Dhoni's under construction house in Ranchi was attacked by some 200 fans after the Bangladesh loss.

2011 Cricket World Cup

Under Dhoni's captaincy, India won the 2011 World Cup. In the final against Sri Lanka, chasing 275, Dhoni promoted himself up the batting order, coming before an in form Yuvraj Singh. When he came to bat India needed more than six runs per over with three top order batsmen already dismissed. He started building a good partnership with Gautam Gambhir. Due to good strokeplay and active running between wickets, they kept up with the required run rate. Dhoni was on 60 off 60 balls, but later accelerated with a greater flow of boundaries, ending with 91 not out off 79 balls. Befitting the occasion, he finished the match of in style with a huge six over long-on off bowler Nuwan Kulasekara and won Man of the Match. Later in the post-match presentation, he admitted that he came up the order so as to counter the Muralitharan spin threat as he was very familiar with Murali's bowling, who was his team-mate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings. He had come after the dismissal of Virat Kohli, also a right-handed batsman. By partnering the left-handed Gambhir, he ensured a right-left combination at the crease that makes it difficult for bowlers to settle into a rhythm.

The bat used by Dhoni in the final match was sold for 72 Lac. The money goes to Sakshi Rawat Foundation, operated by Dhoni's wife Sakshi Rawat to help orphan children.

2015 Cricket World Cup

For the 2015 World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand, Dhoni was named the captain of the 30-member squad by the BCCI in December 2014. Under his captaincy, India was able to go through to semi-finals with ease, beating Bangladesh in the quarter-finals. However, they lost to Australia in the semi-finals held at the Sydney Cricket Ground . The team won 7 consecutive matches in this world cup and won 11 all consecutive in world cups. With the win against Bangladesh, he became the first non-Australian captain to win 100 ODI matches, and first Indian captain to achieve the mark. He is also the third captain to win 100 matches, after two Australians, Ricky Ponting, and Allan Border.

Indian Premier League

Dhoni was contracted by the Chennai Super Kings for 1.5 Million USD. This made him the most expensive player in the IPL for the first season auctions. Dhoni is the present captain of the Chennai Super Kings Team. Under his captaincy, Chennai Super Kings have won two Indian Premier League titles and the 2010 Champions League Twenty20.

Season by season at IPL

IPL Batting Statistics of MS Dhoni
2008Chennai Super Kings144146541.40133.5402
2008–2013 Total84224370*38.01141.15013

Playing style

Dhoni is a right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper. Initially, Dhoni appeared as a lower-order attacking batsman but he gradually changed his style of playing with the occurrence of pressure situation and his growing responsibility as a captain. He is a powerful hitter of the ball and one of the fastest man in running between the wickets.

His wicket-keeping skill is widely praised by cricket experts. He is quick when comes to stumping. He is the main wicket-keeper in the team but he occasionally bowls.

Personal life

Dhoni married Sakshi Singh Rawat, his schoolmate in DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali. a native of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, on 4 July 2010. At the time of their marriage, she was studying hotel management and was working as a trainee at the Taj Bengal, Kolkata. After the retirement of Sakshi’s father from his tea growing business, their family shifted to their native place, Dehradun.

The wedding took place one day after the couple got engaged. According to Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu, a close friend of Dhoni, the wedding was planned for months and was not a spur of the moment decision. Dhoni became father on 6 February 2015 to a baby girl named Ziva.

International records

Test cricket

  • Dhoni's maiden century against Pakistan in Faisalabad (148) is the fastest century scored by an Indian wicket keeper. Only three centuries by two other wicket-keepers (Kamran Akmal and Adam Gilchrist – 2) were faster than Dhoni's 93 ball century.
  • Under Dhoni's captaincy, India defeated Australia by 320 runs on 21 October 2008, biggest ever win in terms of runs for India.
  • Dhoni holds the record for most catches by an Indian player in an innings. He achieved this feat by taking six catches during the first innings of the third test against New Zealand in Wellington in April 2009.
  • Dhoni also equalled Syed Kirmani's record for most dismissals in an innings by an Indian wicket-keeper. Syed Kirmani has effected 6 dismissals (5 catches and 1 stumping) against New Zealand in 1976. Dhoni now has equalled that record for most dismissals with 6 dismissals (all 6 catches) against New Zealand in 2009.
  • Dhoni currently ranks No. 1 in the all-time dismissals list by Indian wicket-keepers. Dhoni has now been involved in 248 dismissals. The following is the list of top five Indian wicket-keepers, in terms of all-time dismissals in test matches: Dhoni (248 dismissals), Syed Kirmani (198 dismissals), Kiran More (130 dismissals), Nayan Mongia (107 dismissals) and Farokh Engineer (82 dismissals).
  • Dhoni is the second wicketkeeper to have effected 6 dismissals in an innings apart from a fifty in each inning of a Test match. Denis Lindsay had accomplished the feat for South Africa against Australia at Johannesburg in December 1966 — 69 & 182 and 6 catches + 2 catches.
  • Under Dhoni's captaincy, India reached their highest test score of 726–9 (decl) during Sri Lanka's tour of India in 2009. Their 2–0 victory in the series took them to the number 1 ranking in Test cricket for the first time in history.
  • Under Dhoni's captaincy, India did not lose a test match until the first test versus South Africa in Nagpur in February 2010. As a captain, he holds a record for longest unbeaten run in tests from his debut, 11 tests (8 wins and 3 draws). This record crossed former Australian captain Warwick Armstrong's run of 10 unbeaten tests (8 wins, 2 draws) from the debut. In Dhoni's streak, however, there was a period of injury in which Virender Sehwag led the side (for 3 draws). So India's unbeaten streak was for 14 tests, of which 11 were Dhoni's.
  • However Dhoni's unbeaten streak of 11 Test matches ended during India's tour of England in 2011 and England also replaced India from No. 1 spot in ICC Test team rankings.
  • Dhoni shares with Nayan Mongia the record of most dismissals (8) by an Indian wicket-keeper in a Test match (as of February 2013).
  • Dhoni holds the record of most dismissals (8 – 7 catches and 1 stumping) by an Indian wicket-keeper in a Test match which includes at least one stumping (as of Feb 2013).
  • Dhoni holds the world record for most stumpings (12) in test wins as a captain (as of February 2013)
  • Dhoni’s 224 is the highest score by an Indian captain in Tests bettering Sachin Tendulkar’s 217 against New Zealand at Ahmedabad in 1999.
  • Dhoni has registered the highest Test score by an Indian wicketkeeper. On 193, he beat a long-standing record of 192 held by Budhi Kunderan against England in 1964, also scored in Chennai.
  • Dhoni has registered the highest score in Test history by a wicketkeeper-captain beating Englishman Alec Stewart’s 164 Vs South Africa in 1998
  • Dhoni is the first Indian wicketkeeper to complete 4,000 Test runs.
  • Dhoni is the most successful Indian Test captain with 24 Test victories, eclipsing Sourav Ganguly’s record of 21 victories from 49 Tests.
  • Dhoni has the dubious distinction of an Indian captain with most Test defeats overseas with 11 Test losses.
  • After hitting a six in third test match between England and India in Southampton, Dhoni has completed 50 sixes as a captain and made a record.

ODI cricket

  • On 31 October 2005 Dhoni scored 183* runs of just 145 balls against Sri Lanka in Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur, which is the highest score made by any batsman in the second innings which was latter bettered by Australian player Shane Watson who scored 185* of 96 balls against Bangladesh at Dhaka on 11 April 2011.
    • The innings featured 10 Sixes – the most by an Indian in an innings, and the fifth highest in ODIs.
    • He broke Adam Gilchrist's record of 172 for the highest score made by a wicket keeper.
    • The innings set the record for the most number of runs scored in boundaries (120 – 15×4; 10×6) breaking the record held by Saeed Anwar. However this was later broken by Herschelle Gibbs (126 runs in boundaries – 21×4; 7×6) against Australia during his knock of 175.
    • The score of 183* equalled Ganguly's innings during the 1999 Cricket World Cup as the highest individual score against Sri Lanka, until Rohit Sharma scored 264 runs in 2014.
  • Dhoni has the fourth highest batting average(52.24) in One Day International cricket, in the list of cricketers with more than 5,000 runs.
  • Among Indian batsmen who have played more than 50 matches, Dhoni has the highest average. Dhoni's batting average is also the highest among wicketkeepers in ODIs.
  • In June 2007, Dhoni(139*) and Mahela Jayawardene(107) set a new world record for the sixth wicket partnership of 218 runs against Africa XI during the Afro-Asia Cup.
    • Dhoni passed Shaun Pollock's record for the highest individual score by a number seven batsman in one-day internationals during his unbeaten innings of 139. Incidentally, Pollock record stood for just three days as his score of 130 came in the first match of the 2007 Afro-Asia Cup while Dhoni's century came in the third and final match of the series.
    • Dhoni also holds the records of the most dismissals in an innings by an Indian wicketkeeper and joint International (with Adam Gilchrist) with 6 dismissals (5 catches and one stumping) against England at Headingley 2 September 2007.
    • Dhoni holds the Indian record of most dismissals in ODIs. He went past Nayan Mongia's 154 for India on 14 November 2008 when he caught Ian Bell off Zaheer Khan at Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground, Rajkot. However including 3 ODIs against Africa XI, his 155th dismissal was TM Dilshan caught off Munaf Patel at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on 24 August 2008.
  • Dhoni, when he was on four during his innings of 23 against Sri Lanka at R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on Saturday, completed 4,000 runs in ODIs. Having already effected 165 dismissals (125 catches + 40 stumpings), Dhoni became the sixth wicketkeeper after Adam Gilchrist, Andy Flower, Alec Stewart, Mark Boucher and Kumar Sangakkara to complete the "double" of 4,000 runs and 100 dismissals in the history of ODIs. Dhoni’s feat of completing the "double" of 4,000 runs and 100 dismissals in only 114 innings is a world record. He is the youngest wicket-keeper batsman to do so (27 years and 208 days).
  • Dhoni is the only captain in the ODIs to score a century while batting at number 7. He did it against Pakistan in December 2012.
  • On 31 January 2014, MS Dhoni became the fourth fastest batsman to complete 8,000 runs in one-day cricket during the fifth and final ODI against New Zealand.
  • The first non-Australian captain to win 100 ODI matches, and first Indian captain to achieve the mark. He is also the third captain to win 100 matches, after two Australians, Ricky Ponting, and Allan Border.
  • Third skipper captained in 300 international matches after Ricky Ponting (324) and Stephen Fleming (303). He is also the only player to lead his side in 50 or more matches in all three formats of the game (60 Tests, 189 ODIs and 51 T20Is).
Dhoni's results in international matches
 MatchesWonLostDrawnTiedNo result

Captaincy record

Captaincy Record in Test Matches
At Home Venues2008–20133021306
At Away Venues2009–20143061509
Captaincy Record in One Day Internationals
In India (At Home Venues)2007–201568402413
At Away and Neutral Venues2008–2016123644838
Captaincy Record in Twenty20 Internationals
In India (At Home Venues)2007–2016157800
At Away Venues2007–20162011900
At Neutral Venues2007–20142718711

Note – In the 2010 ICC World Twenty20, India played a Super 8 Match against West Indies. This match comes under the List of Matches played in Away Venues as the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 was being hosted in West Indies

Outside cricket

Co-owner of Ranchi Rays

Along with Sahara India Pariwar, Dhoni is also a co-owner of Ranchi based Hockey club Ranchi Rays, a franchise of the Hockey India League.

Co-owner of Chennaiyin FC

Along with Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani, Dhoni is also a co-owner of Chennai based Football club Chennaiyin FC, a franchise of the Indian Super League.

Mahi Racing Team India

Dhoni's interest in bikes was often discussed in media. He co-parternered Akkineni Nagarjuna in buying a Supersport World Championship team Mahi Racing Team India.

Biographical film

A biographical film based on the life of Dhoni, titled M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story,is set to be released in September 2016.


Dhoni signed with Kolkata-based celebrity management company Gameplan Sports in April 2005. Currently Dhoni has 20 endorsements, only Shahrukh Khan has more (21). In 2007 Dhoni had 17 endorsements. In July 2010, Dhoni tied up with Rhiti Sports Management and Mindscapes and has been promised a minimum guarantee of Rs 210 crore over the next three years.

The following is the list of endorsements signed by Dhoni:-

International centuries

Test centuries

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Test centuries
11485 PakistanPakistan Faisalabad, PakistanIqbal Stadium2006Drawn
211038 Sri LankaIndia Ahmedabad, IndiaSardar Patel Stadium2009Drawn
3100*40 Sri LankaIndia Mumbai, IndiaBrabourne Stadium2009Won
4132*42 South AfricaIndia Kolkata, IndiaEden Gardens2010Won
514463 West IndiesIndia Kolkata, IndiaEden Gardens2011Won
622474 AustraliaIndia Chennai, IndiaM. A. Chidambaram Stadium2013Won

One Day International centuries

One Day International centuries for India

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's One Day International centuries for India
11485 PakistanIndia Visakhapatnam, IndiaACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium2005Won
2183*22 Sri LankaIndia Jaipur, IndiaSawai Mansingh Stadium2005Won
3109*110 Hong KongPakistan Karachi, PakistanNational Stadium2008Won
4124147 AustraliaIndia Nagpur, IndiaVidarbha Cricket Association Stadium2009Won
5107153 Sri LankaIndia Nagpur, IndiaVidarbha Cricket Association Stadium2009Lost
6101*156 BangladeshBangladesh Dhaka, BangladeshSher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium2010Won
7113*212 PakistanIndia Chennai, IndiaM. A. Chidambaram Stadium2012Lost
8139*229 AustraliaIndia Mohali, IndiaPunjab Cricket Association Stadium2013Lost

One Day International centuries for ACC Asia XI

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's One Day International centuries for ACC Asia XI
1139*74Africa XIIndia Chennai, IndiaM. A. Chidambaram Stadium2007Won


Honorary awards and appreciations

Test cricket

Man of the Match awards

S NoSeriesSeasonMatch PerformanceResult
12nd Test – Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test Series2008/091st Innings: 92 (124 balls, 8×4, 4x6); 1 Ct. ; 1 st.
2nd Innings: 68* (84 balls, 3×4, 1x6) ; 1 ct.
 India won by 320 runs.
21st Test – Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test Series2012/131st Innings: 1 st. ; 224 (265 balls, 24x4, 6x6)
2nd Innings: DNB
 India won by 8 wickets.

One-Day International cricket

Man of the series awards

#SeriesSeasonMatch PerformanceResult
1Sri Lanka in India2013/14346 Runs (7 Matches, 1×100, 1×50); 6 Ct. & 3 st. India Won the series 6-1.
2India in Bangladesh2007127 Runs (2 Matches & 2 Innings, 1×50); 1 Ct. & 2 St. India Won the series 2-0.
3India in Sri Lanka2008/09193 Runs (5 Matches, 2×50); 3 Ct. & 1 St. India Won the series 3-2.
4India in West Indies2009182 Runs (4 Matches with avg. of 91); 4 Ct. & 1 St. India Won the series 2-1.
5India in England2011236 Runs (5 Matches with an avg. of 78.66, 3×50) England Won the series 3-0.
6England in India2011/12212 Runs (5 Matches, 2×50 with 4 not outs) India Won the series 5-0.

Man of the Match awards

S NoOpponentVenueDateMatch PerformanceResult
1PakistanACA-VDCA Stadium, Visakhapatnam5 April 2005148 (123 balls, 15×4, 4×6); WK 2 Ct. India won by 58 runs.
2Sri LankaSawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur31 October 2005183* (145 balls, 15×4, 10×6); WK 1 Ct. India won by 6 wickets.
3PakistanGaddafi Stadium, Lahore13 February 200672 (46 balls, 12×4); WK 3 Ct. India won by 5 wickets.
4BangladeshSher-e-Bangla Stadium, Dhaka10 May 200791* (106 balls, 7×4); WK 1 St. India won by 5 wickets.
5Africa XIM. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai10 June 2007139* (97 balls, 15×4, 5×6); WK 3 St.Asia XI won by 13 runs.
6AustraliaSector 16 Stadium, Chandigarh8 October 200750* (35 balls, 5×4 1×6); WK 2 St. India won by 8 runs.
7PakistanNehru Stadium, Guwahati5 November 200763 (77 balls, 8x4); WK 1 St. India won by 5 wickets.
8Sri LankaNational Stadium, Karachi3 July 200867 (62 balls, 5x4, 1x6); WK 2 Ct. India won by 6 wickets.
9Sri LankaR. Premadasa Stadium Colombo24 August 200876 (80 balls, 8x4); WK 2 Ct. India won by 33 runs.
10New ZealandMcLean Park, Napier3 March 200984* (89 balls, 6x4); WK 1 Ct. & 1 St. India won by 53 runs (D/L).
11West IndiesBeausejour Stadium, Gros Islet3 July 200946* (34 balls, 2x4, 1x6); WK 2 Ct. & 1 St. India won by 6 wickets (D/L).
12AustraliaVCA Stadium, Nagpur28 October 2009124 (107 balls, 9x4, 3x6); WK 1 Ct, 1 St. & 1 Runout India won by 99 runs.
13BangladeshSher-e-Bangla Stadium, Dhaka7 January 2010101* (107 balls, 9×4) India won by 6 wickets.
14Sri LankaWankhede Stadium, Mumbai2 April 201191* (79 balls, 8x4, 2x6); 1 ct. India won World Cup by 6 wickets.
15EnglandRajiv Gandhi Stadium, Hyderabad14 October 201187* (70 balls, 10x4, 1x6); 1 Ct. & 1 St. India won by 126 runs.
16Sri LankaAdelaide Oval, Adelaide14 February 201258* (69 balls, 3x4, 1x6); 2 St.Tied.
17PakistanM. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai30 December 2012113 (125 balls, 7x4, 3x6); 1 Ct. & 1 St. India won by 6 wickets.
18PakistanFeroz Shah Kotla, Delhi6 January 201336 (55 balls, 1x4, 3x6): 1 Ct. & 1 St. India won by 10 runs.
19Sri LankaQueen's Park Oval, Port of Spain11 July 201345* (52 balls, 5x4, 2x6); 1 Ct. & 3 St. India won by 1 wicket.
20South AfricaHolkar Cricket Stadium, Indore14 October 201592* (86 balls, 7x4, 4x6); 3 Ct. & 1 St. India won by 22 runs.