MS Dhoni may not have featured for India in over five months but there hasn’t been even the slightest of dips in terms of his fandom as people on Twitter unanimously declared the former India skipper their best captain of the decade.
The ICC, on Twitter, asked users who would they vote as their favourite captain of the decade and the answer they got wasn’t much of a headscratcher – a resounding MSD. And going by the heights Indian cricket and Dhoni reached in the last 10 years, who is to argue?
Under Dhoni, India won a World Cup in 2011 when the former skipper himself hit the winning six. Dhoni also led India to their second ICC Champions Trophy title in 2013 where they beat hosts England in the final. India also made it to the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup in Australia/New Zealand and the 2016 World T20, and finished finalists in the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh.
On Tuesday, Dhoni completed 15 years in international cricket. He made his international debut on December 23, 2004 in an ODI against Bangladesh at Chattogram. Dhoni was run out in that game, making a first-ball duck but what happened over the next 15 years, changed the face of Indian cricket for good.
Be his long dreadlocks or iconic helicopter shot, the wicketkeeper batsman began making impression with his every move. He came in as a dasher, became the designated finisher and when the mantle of captaincy was handed over, took Indian cricket to a different level.
His first assignment as the captain was the inaugural ICC World T20 in 2007. What happened during that event is a stuff of legend as India became the champions which paved the way for the cash-rich IPL.
Here’s a cursory glance at his international record across formats
Tests: 90 | Runs: 4876 | 100s: 6 | 50s: 33 | Catches: 256 | Stumpings: 38
ODIs: 350 | Runs: 10773 | 100s: 10 | 50s: 73 | Catches: 321 | Stumpings: 123
T20Is: 98 | Runs: 1617 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2 | Catches: 57 | Stumpings: 34
Dhoni has replicated his success in league cricket too where he has led Chennai Super Kings to three IPL titles. The stardom he has acquired through his on-field achievements and demeanour have often been compared to that of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.