If Cricket is a Religion in India and Indian players are Demi Gods then Mahendra Singh Dhoni is easily the Godfather! From an explosive batsman sporting a stylish hairstyle to Captain Cool who achieved all possible laurels for his side, this champion has tirelessly worked on the team that we know as World Champions today!
A thorough gentleman and inspiration to the cricketing world, here's why MSD will always remain a champion player!
1. India's most successful captain in all formats of the game.
MSD has had a marathon run at captaincy. From ruling Test cricket for 2 years to World Cup triumphs in ODIs and T20 internationals, Dhoni has proved his mettle in all formats of the game.
2. He gave the Helicopter Shot to cricket.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes in letting the bat do the talking and boy, does his bat talk! The best example is his trademark Helicopter Shot with which he won us the 2011 World Cup final!
3. One of the best finishers cricket has ever seen.
Dhoni has got the ability to play at any slot in the batting line up. He knows just when to change gears, protect tail-enders from blazing yorkers and finally finishing the job for India, every single time.
4. He is cooler than ice.
Be it a World Cup final, an ugly spat with opponents or a decision going against him, this man maintains zen-like calm in every situation.
5. But he also knows to express himself when he wants to.
Remaining calm comes naturally to him but that doesn't mean MSD can't express! Those images of 2007 are still fresh in every Indian's mind, when he took off his shirt after winning the T20 World Cup.
6. Jack of all trades but a master as well.
Apart from batting, captaining and keeping the wickets for the Indian side in all the formats, this guy doesn't shy away from even rolling his hand over, when necessary.
7. He encourages new talent.
Dhoni believes that the young talent pool of India has the potential to see the team through every transitional period. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay and Ravindra Jadeja have all flourished under Captain Cool!
8. And if he has faith in someone, he will trust them with his life.
Nobody gave an unknown Joginder Sharma a chance to play for India but Dhoni tossed him the ball in the final over of the World T20 final against Pakistan. We all remember what happened next!
9. He is the king of Indian advertising space.
Being the captain of Indian cricket team comes with its own perks. The list of brands that Dhoni endorses just keeps on increasing every year, making Dhoni one of the most powerful Indian brand icons.
10. He is the perfect example of sportsman spirit.
Who can forget the moment when he recalled Ian Bell in a Test match against England, when he was declared run out by the umpire. No wonder, Dhoni is the proud winner of Spirit of Cricket Award along with the first ever AIPS Fairplay Award in 2011.
11. One of the best wicket keeper-batsmen in the world.
He is one of the world's best wicket keeper-batsmen. MSD has 13, 917 international runs, 134 stumpings and 508 catches to his credit in the 390 matches he has played. Add to it, the chatter behind the wicket and opponents just wish Dhoni had stuck to football!
12. His life is a true example of rags to riches.
Dhoni is a man from humble beginnings who has achieved everything today. Going from a railway ticket collector to leading India to multiple World Cup wins, this champion has written his own destiny.
13. Cricket captain of India and yet manages to keep a low profile.
With every possible laurel at your feet, its very easy to lose your mind. Dhoni has made it a point to not let success get to his head and has deliberately kept out of the limelight and sensational headlines.
14. He stays clear of controversies.
Dhoni is a simple and intelligent man. He never gets into something which could tarnish his image, hurt someone's sentiments or disappoint his fans. Clearly, Dhoni and controversies don't get along well!
15. Dreams of serving the country even after retiring from cricket.
True champions can never get enough of serving the country. Dhoni holds the post of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the parachute regiment of Indian military and plans to get more involved with them after retiring from his cricketing duties.
With Dhoni marshalling another young team to the upcoming World Cup, all India needs is a little bit of boost to recreate history . This World Cup, get together and say it loud #StayChampion