Mahendra Singh has turned 37. He burst on to the international scene as a sprightly 23-year-old and made the wicketkeeper-batman’s position his own. There was little doubt the Jharkhand lad was destined for greatness.
Dhoni, who is part of the Indian team playing in England, celebrated his birthday with friends and family. MS Dhoni cut a cake with wife Sakshi, daughter Ziva and many teammates present.
So as India’s most-decorated cricket captain turns 37, we have compiled a list facts about Dhoni which not many of you might know about.
Dhoni was born on 7 July 1981 in Ranchi, Jharkhand after his family moved to the city from Uttarakhand.
Dhoni’s paternal village Lvali is in the Lamgarha block of the Almora District of Uttarakhand.
Before taking up cricket full-time, Dhoni excelled in football and badminton. He played at the district and club level in both football and badminton.
Dhoni was an excellent goalkeeper and his skills in football caught the attention of his childhood coach Keshav Bannerjee, who urged him to try his hand at cricket and wicketkeeping.
Dhoni was a Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur railway station from 2001 to 2003, under South Eastern Railway in Midnapore.
Dhoni made his debut for Bihar in the Ranji Trophy against Assam in 1999-2000 season. He scored 68 not out in his maiden innings and finished the season with 283 runs in five matches.
Dhoni is known for his passion for motorcycles. His love for two-wheelers started from a very young age and he now has an enviable list of bikes ranging from the very old to the very exclusive.
Dhoni owns bikes such as the Yamaha RD350, Harley Davidson Fatboy, Ducati 1098, Kawasaki Ninja H2 and the super exclusive Confederate Hellcat X132. The former India captain is the only one to own this rare bike in South East Asia.
The ‘Helicopter Shot’, which Dhoni is famous for, was taught to him during a tennis-ball tournament in Ranchi by his friend Santosh Lal.
Dhoni made his international debut in an ODI match against Bangladesh in Chittagong and got run out from the first ball he faced while batting at No. 7.
Dhoni has played 131 First-class matches and scored 7038 runs at 36.84 with nine hundreds and 47 half-centuries.
In 296 ODIs Dhoni has amassed 9496 runs at an average of 51.32 with 10 hundreds and 64 fifties. He is the second highest run-scorer as a wicketkeeper in one-day internationals.
Dhoni married Sakshi Singh Rawat on 4 July, 2010. Sakshi hails from Dehradun, Uttarakhand. At the time of their marriage, she was studying Hotel Management and was working as a trainee at the Taj Bengal in Kolkata.
Dhoni also holds the record for playing the most number of international matches as captain (331).
Dhoni’s knock of 54 off 114 balls against West Indies at Antigua in 2017 was the second slowest half-century scored by an Indian batsman. Sadagoppan Ramesh holds the unwanted record.
The unbeaten 183 he scored against Sri Lanka in Jaipur in 2005 is the highest score by a wicket-keeper in ODI cricket.
In February 2018, Dhoni brroke the world record for most catches by a wicketkeeper in T20 cricket.
A day before his 37th birthday, Dhoni became the third Indian and first wicketkeeper to appear in 500 international. Only Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid had reached the landmark from India before MSD.