Hard work is not the only key to success; one also needs luck to be by their side to become successful.
Team India’s Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one man who’s got luck by his side.
For a man who made critics cry at his technique now sits on a pedestal where no international cricket captain has ever been.
It cannot be luck alone or the Number 6 factor that has taken Mahendra Singh Dhoni so far. He is not a born genius either.
To explain the phenomenon is not the easiest task in the world. The extent of Dhoni’s achievements has now gone beyond what even a top cricketer today can aspire for.
He’s won the World Twenty20, taken India to the top of the world Test and ODI rankings, has pocketed the World Cup – a second one for India – and is now bringing home the Champions Trophy.
We give you Dhoni’s journey from being a ticket collector to becoming India’s most successful captain.
1. 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 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.
2. Dhoni studied at DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali,(now the school is known as JVM, Shyamli, Ranchi) 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.
3. Dhoni 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
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Dhoni never looked back since that world cup win and became the man with the Midas touch, as India became the no.1 side in all formats of the cricket.
India won the ODI world cup in 2011 under his captaincy and in the same year he led his side Chennai Super Kings to win the Indian Premier League.
Recently, India won the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time under Dhoni’s captaincy.
Contributed By Sonia Narula