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Certain players in sports are beyond numbers as their contribution is unrivalled. MS Dhoni is one such name who simply changed the view of Indian cricket forever. On his 39th birthday, we take a ride down memory lane and revisit his glorious career.

On 23 Dec 2004, the world saw MS Dhoni for the first time in Indian colours. The young man from Ranchi had been selected due to his destructive batting in domestic cricket. However, his career began on the worst possible note as he got out for a golden duck. But as they say, it is not important how you started but how you end.

In the next 15 years playing for India, Dhoni broke numerous batting and captaincy records but more importantly guided youngsters, who ultimately became legends of Indian cricket. His innings of 148 and 183 against Pakistan and Sri Lanka made the headlines and made him a national hero. Dhoni quickly became a youth icon as everyone wanted a piece of the new heartthrob of Indian cricket.

In his 4th Test, he passed the litmus test as he stood firm against Pakistan and scored a sublime maiden Test ton. Over the next few years, the career of Dhoni witnessed an upsurge as he started realising his strengths and weaknesses.

When he earned the captaincy reigns in the absence of some senior players everyone was unsure about the decision. But Dhoni had other ideas in mind as he wanted to win the first T20 World Cup in 2007 with a young team India. He believed and the team delivered and after a nerve-wracking win against Pakistan in the final and the Indian team side made history. Dhoni lifted the T20 World Cup which entirely transformed the face of Indian cricket.

The Six by Dhoni that sealed the win for India in the world cup final.

Captain Dhoni went on to win every major ICC trophy in his career as a captain. The 2011 cricket world cup win as skipper immortalised MS Dhoni forever. His innings of 91* under pressure will forever be remembered and recalled. The 2013 champions trophy win in England was more special as again with a fairly inexperienced side Dhoni as captain once again produced a triumph.

The calm and cool demeanour of Dhoni does not often reflect the amount of pressure the man faced throughout his career. The wicket-keeper-batsman always focused on taking Indian cricket to greater heights and never really cared about his critics. His game kept on changing in his career but his ability to win matches in the last overs remained constant. Arguably the greatest finisher of all time Dhoni in his career won countless matches from a seemingly impossible position.

The former India skipper has without a shadow of doubt played an integral role in shaping the Indian cricket team which is now a powerhouse in world cricket. Everyone might have seen the last of him playing for India but that doesn’t take away from the accomplishments he achieved in his glittering career. Happy Birthday Mahendra Singh Dhoni, one of the greatest ever to play the game.

MS Dhoni with the ICC Test mace in 2009.

Overall Career Stats of Dhoni playing for India:

Test 90 matches 4876 runs 38.1 average 6 100s
ODIs 350 matches 10773 runs 50.6 average 10 100s
T20Is 98 matches 1617 runs 37.6 average SR 126.1

Highlights as Captain of India:

2007 T20 World Cup Win
2008 Tri-Series Win in Australia
2008 Test Series win in New Zealand
India became the number Test team for the first time under Dhoni in 2009
2011 cricket world cup win
2013 champions trophy win

Dhoni captaincy record in each format:

Tests 60 matches 27 wins 18 loss
ODIs 199 matches 110 wins 74 loss
T20Is 72 matches 41 wins 28 loss