Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates his 39th birthday on Tuesday. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who is regarded as one of the most successful captains of the Indian cricket team, has been away from the cricket field for nearly a year, and yet conversations about his return, or future retirement have never died out. Such is the stature of the man known by the moniker ‘Captain Cool’ that fans continue to wait with bated breath and hope that they would get to see Dhoni donning the Indian jersey at least one more time.
In his career as captain, Dhoni led India to 2007 T20I World Cup, 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy – and he became the first captain to have won all three ICC tournaments. Several members of the Indian cricket fraternity, including current India captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri took to Twitter to wish Dhoni the best on his special day.
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Happy b’day Mahi Bhai. Wish you good health and happiness always. God bless you,” skipper Virat Kohli tweeted.
“Happy Birthday Youngster! Have an absolute blast Legend,” Indian team coach Ravi Shastri tweeted.
“Once in a generation, a player comes and a nation connects with him, think of him as a member of their family, kuch bahut apna sa lagta hai. Happy Birthday to a man who is the world ( Dhoni-ya ) for his many admirers,” tweeted Virender Sehwag.
“Happy birthday to my Bittu from your Chittu. My friend who has taught me to be a better human being and stood by me in bad times @msdhoni,” India allrounder Hardik Pandya wrote.
Suresh Raina also took to Instagram and wrote: Here’s wishing a very Happy Birthday to one of my favorite human, brother & a leader I could ever ask for! The man who has always played with his mind and heart. His Captaincy has not just been successful because of his decisions but also because of his faith in every member of his team! So cheers to our Special No. 7, who made winning as a habit. Thank you for all the inspiration @mahi7781 Bhai.
As a wicketkeeper too Dhoni has contributed brilliantly to India’s victories. He has to his credit 401 dismissals in ODIs, 295 catches and 106 stumpings. In fact, he is only the fourth member of the 400-Club along with Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara (482), Australia’s Adam Gilchrist (472) and South Africa’s Mark Boucher (424).
Dhoni has played 90 Tests in which he amassed 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09. He has also played 350 ODIs in which he has scored 10,773 runs at an average of 50.57. Dhoni, formerly known as ‘captain cool’ during his captaincy days, has also played 98 T20Is for India in which he has scored 1,617 runs at an average of 37.60.