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Happy Birthday MS Dhoni—one of India’s finest leaders, a role model & an inspiration.

On his 39th birthday I’ll be sharing 39 incredible facts about MS Dhoni’s cricketing career & his journey. Stay tuned


@msdhoni @ChennaiIPL
1. MS Dhoni attended DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir in Ranchi.Played badminton & basketball too.Was goalkeeper & once his school coach KR Banerjee asked him if he would like to keep wickets for the cricket team. MS agreed & that's how his cricketing journey began #HappyBirthdayMSDhoni
2. MS Dhoni made a name for himself & was selected in Bihar U-19 team for Cooch Behar Trophy in 1998-99. In the tournament, Dhoni scored 185 runs in 5 matches at an avg of 37 with 1 fifty! The next year was his last chance of getting in the India U-19 team!
3. MS Dhoni scored 488 runs in 9 matches in the 1999/00 Cooch Behar Trophy which included 4 fifties!He scored 84 in the final against Punjab. He was hoping to make it in the India U-19 side for the World Cup in Sri Lanka. It was so close, yet so far for MSD #HappyBirthdayMSDhoni
4. For the wicket-keeper spot in the squad it was a three-way race between Ajay Ratra, MS Dhoni and Amit Deshpande from Vidarbha. MSD was the aggressive of the three but didn't score much in the CK Nayudu Trophy.
Ratra made it to the team
5. MS Dhoni made his List A & FC debut v Assam at Jamshedpur in 2000. On his FC debut, MSD's first victim as a 'keeper was Parag Das who was stumped. 19 years later, MSD caught Parag Das' son Riyan Parag in the IPL game in Jaipur!
6. Before Dhoni played for Bihar, he represented Central Coal Limited. MSD scored a double hundred in school match & put 378* with Shabir Hussain. He was picked in CCL under sports quota. MSD would get monthly stipend of 2K + 200 extra (for being a match-winning player)
7. Dhoni scored his first FC century at the Eden Gardens against formidable Bengal. MSD scored 195 runs in 4 Ranji Trophy games in 2000/01 season. He was picked in the East Zone side for the Duleep Trophy game v South Zone in Agartala. MSD came to know about this news very late.
8. With just 20 hours to go for the game, MSD needed to go from Ranchi to Agartala. MSD couldn't reach on time & had to miss the game. He went with the team to Pune where MSD first saw Sachin Tendulkar--one of his idols. Sachin even asked MSD for water during the drinks break
9. Dhoni moved to Kharagpur as a train ticket examiner.He was part of the South Eastern Railways team. In 2002, MSD went for selection of the Railways team.The selectors weren't impressed with his batting or 'keeping skills.

Pic: With his friends in Kharagpur
PC: The Telegraph
10. Dhoni also played tennis ball cricket for Durga Sporting. He learnt helicopter shot (called 'thappad' shot) from his childhood friend Santosh Lal. MSD was fond of Santosh's aggressive batting style. Unfortunately Santosh succumbed to pancreatitis & died in 2013.

PC: Rediff
11. Talent Resource Development Wing was an initiative by the BCCI to fast-tack talent around India. Dhoni was discovered by TRD Officer Prakash Poddar (former Bengal skipper) & his report was sent to the National Cricket Academy.The year 2004 was the turning point in MSD's life
12. Dhoni hit his 1st List A ton v Assam (128*) & hit 114 v CZ in the Deodhar Trophy 2004. His consistent performances earned him a place in the India A team on the tour of Kenya and Zimbabwe. Dhoni hit 2 tons v Pakistan A in the quadrangular series & was Player of the Tournament
13. In 2004, Dhoni was part of the Indian side which took part in the Hong Kong Super Sixes. His Indian teammates - Pravin Amre, Subroto Banerjee, Iqbal Siddiqui, Nikhil Chopra, Debasis Mohanty.
14. Dhoni was included in the Board President XI side v the visiting South Africa at Jaipur. MSD scored 39 in a 3-day game. In Ranji Trophy 2004/05, he scored 48 v J&K, (97, 6*) v Kerala, (128 & 9) v Orissa. His name was announced in the Indian team for the Bangladesh ODI series
15. On December 23, 2004, MS Dhoni became India's 157th ODI cricketer. He made his debut against Bangladesh in Chittagong. He was run-out of the very first delivery in international cricket. MS Dhoni scored 12 & 7* in the next two ODIs. 3 ODIs, 19 runs
16. Before MSD made his India debut he was struggling to find sponsor for his cricket kit. His friend Paramjit Singh helped him get a sponsor. In 2004,in a Inter-Railway Cricket tournament in Nagpur,MSD had a great tournament. His name had created a buzz in the cricketing circles
17. Dhoni hit 148 off 56 & 124 off 48 in the tournament. When a photographer asked him to pose Dhoni said: "Mera photo paper mein aaye na aaye, iss bat ka zarur aana chahiye." Dhoni wanted to make sure his bat logo was clicked by the photographer

Credits: @ruchirmishraTOI
18. In 2005, Dhoni was part of the India Seniors team led by Sourav Ganguly in the Challenger Trophy. In the game v India B, Seniors needed 276 to win. Dhoni scored 102*(96)--10 fours & 4 sixes--opening the innings.
19. Dhoni failed in his 4th ODI, scoring just 3 v Pakistan at Kochi. In the four ODIs he batted low down the order. Ganguly had seen MSD's fearless strokeplay in the Challenger Trophy at the top of the order. Ganguly decided to promote MSD at No.3 in Vizag
20. MS Dhoni scored 148 in his 5th ODI batting at No.3. This was only the second century hit by an Indian wicket-keeper in ODIs. The first one--Rahul Dravid (145 v SL in 1999 WC)--was the non-striker when Dhoni completed the milestone
#HappyBirthdayMSD #HappyBirthdayDhoni
21. In 2005, Dhoni was part of the Bradman XI in Bradman T20 Cup. He opened with @ProfDeano v KSCA XI. In the next game v Chemplast Recreation Club he scored 91*(61) opening the innings as Bradman XI chased 133!
22. In the ODI series v SL, Dhoni scored 183* in Jaipur which included 15 fours & 10 sixes.This is still the highest individual score by 'keeper in ODIs. Dhoni scored 346 runs in 5 inns & was named the Player of the Tournament-his 1st in international cricket #HappyBirthdayDhoni
23. MS Dhoni became India's 251st Test cricketer when he made his debut v Sri Lanka at the Chepauk in 2005. In 2006, playing only his 5th Test, Dhoni scored 148 v Pakistan in Faisalabad. He scored 148 in his 5th ODI v Pakistan as well!
24. India lost 4-0 in ODI series v SA, lost the Test series 2-1 and won the one-off T20 match. In 2007, India were knocked out of the 50-over WC with Dhoni getting out on ducks v Ban & SL. A mob of angry fans attacked his new house. But soon there was going to be a big change
25. After the senior players decided to take rest, a young team was selected to go to the World T20 in South Africa. MS Dhoni was chosen the captain of this young side. India won the WT20 & soon things changed for the better
26. During the 2008 IPL auction, MS Dhoni was picked by @ChennaiIPL for USD $1.5 million. CSK had in fact kept 1.1 mn USD for MSD but were okay to pay till 1.8 mn USD. This was the highest amount bid for any cricketer in the 2008 IPL auction #HappyBirthdayDhoni
27. India won the first ever tri-series in Australia under MS Dhoni. Soon Dhoni became the captain in all three formats. India became the World No.1 in Test cricket in 2009 when they beat Sri Lanka at the CCI. This was a pinnacle of glory for Team India #HappyBirthdayDhoni
28. During the CCI Test, MSD spotted his old Railways coach. MSD went upto him & asked the coach if there was any problem in his game.The coach had no answers & he passed the buck to the selectors. MSD was rejected by the Railways

Source: Indian Express

29. MS Dhoni as a bowler:

His only international wicket:Travis Dowlin

Dismissed Wriddhiman Saha in the Challenger Trophy 2009

Kevin Pietersen (Lord's 2011) & Mahela Jayawardene (CT 2013) were given out of MSD's bowling but the decisions were overturned!

30. Led Chennai Super Kings to the Playoffs every single IPL season.

CSK won the titles in 2010, 2011 and 2018

Played under Suresh Raina in only ONE game for CSK v Yorkshire in Champions League 2012 at Durban


31. MS Dhoni, who made his international debut under Sourav Ganguly, did something special for his first captain on his final Test. Dhoni asked Ganguly to lead for a few overs -- v Australia at Nagpur in 2008
32. MS Dhoni would hand over the winning trophy to the newest member of the squad -- a tradition which he started & continues. This is followed by Team India even now.
33. In 2015, Jharkhand beat Railways by 115 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Dhoni wanted to play for the Railways but was rejected in 2002. As per the then Jharkhand physio, Dr. Amit Dubey, MSD was like a debutant eagerly waiting for his turn to bat #HappyBirthdayDhoni
34. On December 30, 2014, India drew the Boxing Day Test v Australia. MSD attended the press conference & answered the questions normally. After a few minutes there was a press release stating MSD's retirement. This shocked the cricketing world. No one saw that coming!
35. MS Dhoni when he stays unbeaten in ODI run-chase:

Occasions: 50
India won: 47
India lost: 2
Match tied 1

36. MS Dhoni -- Player of the Match in the final of the 2011 World Cup final. Scored an invaluable 91* to see India home after Gambhir set the foundation with his 97.

Only captain to win all ICC events - WT20 2007, CWC 2011 & CT 2013

37. MS Dhoni in ODIs:

Matches 350
Runs 10773
Average 50.57
Strike Rate 88
100s/50s 10/73

First player to reach 10000+ ODI runs at an average of 50+

38. MS Dhoni has two 200+ partnerships in ODIs:

256 with Yuvraj Singh for 4th wicket v England at Cuttack (2017)

218 with Mahela Jayawardene (Asia XI) v Africa XI at Chennai (2007)

Highest p'ship in Tests: 259* for 7th wicket with VVS Laxman v SA at Kolkata (2010)
39. MS Dhoni has played with 107 teammates across formats- 99 Indians & 8 from Asia XI

His Asia XI teammates: Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Mohammad Asif, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mohammad Rafique, Mohammad Yousuf, Dilhara Fernando & Upul Tharanga

BONUS: Captains MS Dhoni has played under in international cricket:

Sourav Ganguly
Rahul Dravid
Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma
Anil Kumble
Virender Sehwag
Mahela Jayawardene

Point 20: Dravid had a ton v UAE in Asia Cup 2004. Before MSD’s ton only Rahul Dravid has hit ODI ton for India as a wicketkeeper
Via @Varun_1306
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