Mahendra Singh Dhoni, sometimes abbreviated as MS Dhoni pronunciation (born 7 July 1981 in Ranchi, Bihar) is an Indian cricketer and the current captain of the Indian team. Initially recognized as an extravagantly flamboyant and destructive batsman, Dhoni has come to be regarded as one of the coolest heads to captain the Indian ODI side. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, CB Series of 2007-08 and the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2008 in which they beat Australia 2-0. He also lead the team to their first ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Dhoni has also been the recipient of many awards including the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 (the first Indian player to achieve this feat), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour in 2009. Currently, Dhoni is the highest ranked ODI batsmen on the ICC Rankings List. Also Dhoni named as Skipper of Wisden's first-ever Dream Test XI Team in 2009.
The Indian team in the 2000s saw the use of Rahul Dravid as the wicket-keeper to ensure that the wicket-keeper spot didn't lack in batting talent.The Indian cricket establishment also saw the entry of wicket-keeper/batsmen from the junior ranks with talents like Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik - both India U-19 Captains in the test squads. With Dhoni making a mark in the India-A squad, he was picked in the ODI squad for the Bangladesh tour in 2004/05. Dhoni did not have a great start to his ODI career, getting run out for a duck on debut. In spite of an average series against Bangladesh, Dhoni was picked for the Pakistan ODI series. In the second match of the series, Dhoni in his fifth one-day international, scored 148 in Vishakapatnam off only 123 deliveries. Dhoni's 148 erased the earlier record for the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper, a record that he would re-write before the end of the year.
Following his good one-day form against Sri Lanka, Dhoni replaced Dinesh Karthik in December 2005 as the Indian Test wicket-keeper.Dhoni scored 30 runs in his debut match that was marred by rain. Dhoni came to the crease when the team was struggling at 109/5 and as wickets kept falling around him, he played an aggressive innings and was the last man dismissed. Dhoni made his maiden half-century in the second Test and his quick scoring rate (half century came off 51 balls) aided India to set a target of 436 and the Sri Lankans were bowled out for 247.