Mahendra Singh Dhoni turns 30

Jul 6, 2011


Today, the Indian captain Mahendra Singh joins the 30s club and a series win in West Indies will be an ideal gift from teammates.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will celebrate his 30th birthday on the second day of the third Test against the West Indies at Roseau, has already exhibited a maturity much beyond cricketers in their 30s. A series win will be an apt birthday gift from his team mates for his inspirational captaincy.

It has been a significant week for him on the personal front as on Monday ‘Mahi', as he is nicknamed, celebrated his first marriage anniversary to his childhood friend Sakshi Singh Rawat.

Despite being born in a sleepy industrial town like Ranchi, which hardly has a cricketing tradition, Dhoni has achieved much more than cricketers born in the metros and blessed with the best of facilities. He has not only proved to be a fine wicketkeeper but one of the finest hard hitters in the game and among the best captains India has ever produced.

Leading India to victory in the first Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 and then again the 2011 World Cup before even reaching his thirties, he has recorded an indelible mark in cricket history. Dhoni has played a pivotal role in India's reign at the top of the world ranking.

Answering a query from Gulf News on what makes him a great captain after the World Cup triumph, he said: "I am lucky…really lucky." After a short gap, he went on to add: "I am lucky to have a great team and great players in the team."

Dhoni's greatest quality is his cool and calm approach to the game — something which has earned him the tag of ‘Captain Cool' in the media. The maturity with which he handles seniors in the team is also remarkable.

Talking to seniors

During flights between the World Cup matches, he sat in the middle with Sachin Tendulkar taking the aisle seat and Virender Sehwag in the window seat. He can often be seen paying rapt attention to his seniors and at the same time is a fine adviser to the juniors.

It is the confidence that he has bestowed in some of the youngsters that has helped him get the best from them. It is no wonder that Time magazine listed him among the 100 most influential people of 2011.

Dhoni is in such control of himself that at times one wonders whether he is above any weakness. During an interview in Dubai years ago when he came here for a talk show, I asked him about it and his reply was: "I too have my pet weaknesses. Speed bikes are my weakness. I love cars too and my pet dog."

Very soon, he added a Hummer to his collection apart from the many high speed motorcycles.

Dhoni has also won admiration for his ability to stay rooted and makes sure to visit his hometown during every break. No wonder, despite scaling great heights, he is still a down-to-earth cricketer.