15 years ago, this day (December 23, 2004) Mahendra Singh Dhoni made his debut in Chittagong against Bangladesh. Playing under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy, the wicketkeeper-batsman from Jharkhand had an average debut series in Bangladesh.
After getting out for a duck on his debut, Dhoni managed to score just 19 runs across the 3 matches in Bangladesh. Times changed, he stormed to his form and declared his arrival in international cricket during a series against Pakistan at home in April 2005. Springing his career as a ticket collector to winning India all major ICC trophies, the Jharkand born cricketer has come a long way. We have tried to recall 10 best moments of his career which is proof that there is no one better than MS Dhoni in the Indian team.
Pakistan’s worst day
The cricketing world heard the name of MS Dhoni for the first time when he tore apart Pakistani bowling attack by playing a hurricane inning of 148 runs in ODI. He scored 15 boundaries and 4 sixes and became the second-highest run-scorer as a wicket-keeper for India in the 50-over format.
The 2007 T20 World Cup
MS Dhoni was captaining the young Indian side for the first time in the 2007 T20 World Cup. With less experience, India was not the favorites in the tournament. However, Dhoni surprised everybody with his calm approach. Dhoni showed his risk-taking ability until the final moment of the tournament with Pakistan. He pitched the ball to an unknown medium-pacer, Joginder Sharma and he did not disappoint the captain. India won the final, thus it was the beginning of Captain Cool’s journey.
No 1 Test side
In the history of Indian cricket, the Jharkhand born is the first-ever skipper who has achieved the no.1 spot in all formats of the game. His cool character in pressure conditions and out of the box thinking astonished everybody. Since the Legend Anil Kumble retired from test cricket, MSD was given the duty to captain test side and only a few months after that, he made Team India no.1 test side in the world.
2008 Commonwealth Bank series
India was playing the Commonwealth Bank Series with the national teams of Australia and Sri Lanka. The men in blue were still looking at an ODI series win in Australia. After the tournament began, Dhoni was questioned for the judgment to drop the seniors like Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid in the squad.
Most of the players in the team had not played in Australia previously and certain experts raised doubts about the squad’s capability to handle demanding conditions. But guess what, it was Dhoni once again who surprised everyone with his ability to make accurate decisions. India won the tri-series tournament with a 2–0 sweep of the hosts in the final series.
The unbelievable wicketkeeper
The former Indian skipper is not just a great batsman, he is also quick behind the stumps. His wicket-keeping art is still the most trustworthy even today. It’s hard to find anyone with as fast hands as he has behind wickets. Though he drops some catches occasionally, but that just shows he is also a human being.
On the records, Dhoni took just 0.08 seconds to make the stumping and thereby refining his record for the fastest stumping he made against Australia (George Bailey’s wicket off Ravindra Jadeja) in an ODI game back in January 2016 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
ICC Champions Trophy 2013
Rain interrupted the final between India and England. Starting with a 20 overs game, India batting first could manage only 129 and it looked all too easy for England until they came out to bat. India began well but seemed like losing the hold on the game around the 15th over mark.
England’s team was looking comfortable towards the victory. But guess who is the party spoiler, MSD had unusual plans for them. He wheeled the bowlers in such a way that England slip short by 5 runs and India heaved ICC champions trophy.
MS Dhoni sets the field for Bangladesh
India vs Bangladesh warm-up match of ICC World Cup 2019 at Cardiff. It was the 40th over of Indian innings, MS Dhoni prevented Sabbir Rahman on his steps and asked him to move to the square-leg fielder towards his left. Dhoni certainly established the field for Bangladesh, that too when he was batting for India. You can state it was MS Dhoni’s admiration, his charm or just unmatchable sportsmanship but he always succeeds to pull off things in the cricket field which is difficult to even imagine.
One-handed run out
It was the final group match between India and Bangladesh, both the team’s battling for the next round qualification did not want to miss any chances. Bangladesh required two runs of the final ball, and they were all geared up to steal a single. The party spoiler was back, Dhoni did not let it occur.
He bestowed the great presence of mind on the last ball of the match as he undoes his one glove off before the ball. When the batsman missed the ball, it was then a direct contest between non-striker, Mustafizur Rahman and Dhoni. And as a result, it was India who beat Bangladeshi and won the match to qualify for the final.
No look run out
MS Dhoni proved why he is unique as a wicketkeeper for India when he ran out Ross Taylor during India’s fourth ODI against New Zealand at Ranchi. Receiving a throw from Dhawal Kulkarni, India’s ODI skipper drew off a blinder when he caught the ball and threw it at the stumps in one speedy action. Everyone was stunned and amazed. Ross Taylor was surprised as something impossible stuff had happened to him.
2011 World Cup finisher
“Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lifts the World Cup after 28 years,” Ravi Shastri recorded the greatest moment in his immortal voice. This special moment has made a special place in the hearts of every cricket fan in India and around the world.
Indian Team conquered the world cup after 28 years, this 2011 WC final match was played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. By the time when it looked India was losing its grip in the match, Dhoni led from the front by helping himself up the order. The brave innings of unbeaten 91 and that winning six over long-on has been written in the hearts of every Indian cricket fan.