Image credit: Reuters
India's most successful captain and arguably the best finisher of the limited-overs format Mahendra Singh Dhoni turns 33 today - entering what could be the last phase of his distinguished career leading up to the World Cup early next year.
Dhoni - who made his international debut on December 23, 2004, and was elevated to captaincy in just three year - has played 83 Tests, 243 ODIs and 49 T20Is scoring 4459, 8046 and 822 runs respectively.
Since celebrating his elevation to captaincy with the World T20 title win, Dhoni has led India to 6 ODI titles, 1 T20 title and 11 bilateral series successes besides winning 12 Test series - 9 at home and 3 away. Among all the feats, Dhoni's 2011 World cup triumph on home turf is rated as the best in the Indian cricket history.
Dhoni, who overtook Ganguly as India's most successful skipper, is also the only captain in history to win all three ICC titles (World T20, World Cup and Champions Trophy). He has also won the Indian Premier League (twice) and Champions League (once) with the Chennai Super Kings.
India's Trophies under MS Dhoni's captaincy (tournaments involving three or more teams)
2007 - World Twenty20 in South Africa
2008 Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia (tri-nation)
2008-09: Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)
2008-09: England in India Test Series
2008-09: India in New Zealand Test Series
2009 Compaq Cup in Sri Lanka (tri-series)
2009-10: Sri Lanka in India Test Series
2009-10: India in Bangladesh Test Series
2010: Asia Cup in Sri Lanka
2010-11: Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)
2010-11: New Zealand in India Test Series 2010/11
2011 World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
2011: India in West Indies Test Series
2011-12: West Indies in India Test Series
2012: New Zealand in India Test Series
2012-13: Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)
2013 Champions Trophy in England
2013 Celkon Mobile Cup Tri-series in the West Indies
2013-14: West Indies in India Test Series
PS: Other than the above, India have won 11 bilateral ODI series under Dhoni's captaincy.
Micro-blogging site Twitter was flooded with birthday messages for the Indian skipper, who is currently in England for the upcoming five-Test series.
Happy birthday Dhoni bhai. Have a good one :)— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) July 7, 2014
Happy Birthday MS Dhoni ! pic.twitter.com/ExSx5gs46c— OMGSACHIN (@OmgSachin) July 7, 2014
Happy Birthday MS Dhoni !The most successful captain of INDIA,the greatest finisher & one of the best wicket keeper. pic.twitter.com/EYUfIH7uRs— Kingston Holdings (@KingstonGroup) July 7, 2014
"When Dhoni is at other end, you don't need to worry. He takes entire responsibility of finishing the game on his shoulders." - Mike Hussey— HappyB'day Maahi.. (@Ashish515) July 7, 2014
Thanks a lot everyone for all ur good wishes.— Mahendra Singh Dhoni (@msdhoni) July 7, 2014