Captain of India
Dhoni behind the stumps
Dhoni was named the captain of Indian squad for the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa in September 2007. India were crowned champions as Dhoni led the team to victory against Pakistan in a thrilling contest. He, then, went on to become the ODI captain of the Indian team for the seven-match ODI series against Australia in September 2007. He made his debut as full-time Test captain of India during the fourth and final Test against Australia at Nagpur in November 2008 replacing Anil Kumble who was injured in the third test and who then announced his retirement. Dhoni was vice-captain in this series up to that point. India eventually won that Test thus clinching the series 2–0 and retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Dhoni had previously captained India on a stand-in basis against South Africa and Australia in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
It was under his captaincy that India climbed to No. 1 in the ICC Test Rankings in December 2009. After that he managed to lead India in a series-leveling world championship of Tests against the South Africans in February 2010. India also managed to draw the Test series 1–1 in South Africa later that year.
After winning the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final against Sri Lanka on 2 April 2011 with his match winning knock of unbeaten 91, Tendulkar heaped praises on Dhoni, claiming him to be the best captain he has played under. Tendulkar mentioned that it was Dhoni's calm influence that was rubbing off on all his team-mates and described Dhoni's handling of pressure was incredible.
Only nine players have captained ten or more Tests playing as a wicket-keeper. Dhoni leads the table with 33 Tests as captain, 15 ahead of Gerry Alexander in second place.
In March 2013, Dhoni became the most successful Indian Test captain when he eclipsed Sourav Ganguly’s record of 21 victories from 49 Tests. Ganguly also said in an interview to a news channel that Dhoni is the all-time greatest captain of India and he has a great record to support this credential.
Dhoni, being captain of the Indian cricket team, has seldom faced any restrictions not to play in matches, due to slow-over rate. In December 2009, he was suspended for two ODI matches against Sri Lanka when ICC match referee Jeff Crowe imposed the ban as India was three overs short of the specified overs. Hence Virender Sehwag was named the skipper for the two matches in Cuttack and Kolkata.Further, in January 2012 he was banned for the fourth Test match against Australia in Adelaide. Dhoni's team was two overs short during the third Test in Perth. Consequently, Sehwag captained the team in the Adelaide test and Wriddhiman Saha kept the wickets. In the CB Series in February, Dhoni again faced a one match ban for slow-over rate against Australia.
Dhoni has captained India in two World Cups. Under his captaincy, India won the World Cup in 2011 and reached the semifinals in 2015.
2007 Cricket World Cup
Dhoni played his first ODI World Cup in 2007 at the Caribbean. India made an early exit from the tournament in the Group Stage. In 2007 Cricket World Cup, India was placed in Group B with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bermuda. Rahul Dravid captained the team in this World Cup. In three matches India played, they managed to win only one against Bermuda while losing the rest from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In their first match against Bangladesh, India was all out in just 191 in 49.3 overs. Dhoni was out for 0. He stumpedTamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and captain Habibul Bashar in the match but, India lost by 5 wickets. In the next match against Bermuda, India posted the then Highest Score in the World Cup 413/5 in a must-win match. Dhoni scored 29 off 25 Balls which includes Two 4s and One 6. India won the match by 257 runs. India was required to win their last group match against the Lankans but they lost by 69 runs. Chasing the target of 255, India crumbled to 185 all out in 43.3 overs. Dhoni was out for 0 for the second time in the tournament in his very first ball by Muttiah Muralitharan. Thus, India was out of the world cup in very first round. The Team was heavily criticized for their performance. Dhoni's under construction house in Ranchi was attacked by some 200 fans after the Bangladesh loss.
2011 Cricket World Cup
Under Dhoni's captaincy, India won the 2011 World Cup. In the final against Sri Lanka, chasing 275, Dhoni promoted himself up the batting order, coming before Yuvraj Singh. When he came to bat India needed more than six runs per over with three top order batsmen already dismissed. He started building a good partnership with Gautam Gambhir. Due to good strokeplay and active running between wickets, they kept up with the required run rate. Dhoni was on 60 off 60 balls, but later accelerated with a greater flow of boundaries, ending with 91 not out off 79 balls. Befitting the occasion, he finished the match of in style with a huge six over long-on off bowler Nuwan Kulasekara and won Man of the Match. Later in the post-match presentation, he admitted that he came up the order so as to counter the Muralitharan spin threat as he was very familiar with Murali's bowling, who was his team-mate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings. He had come after the dismissal of Virat Kohli, also a right-handed batsman. By partnering the left-handed Gambhir, he ensured a right-left combination at the crease that makes it difficult for bowlers to settle into a rhythm.
The bat used by Dhoni in the final match was sold for ₹ 72 Lac. The money goes to Sakshi Rawat Foundation, operated by Dhoni's wife Sakshi Rawat to help orphan children.
2015 Cricket World Cup
For the 2015 World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand, Dhoni was named the captain of the 30-member squad by the BCCI in December 2014.Under his captaincy, India was able to go through to semi-finals with ease, beating Bangladesh in the quarter-finals. However, they lost to Australia in the semi-finals. The team won 7 consecutive matches in this world cup and won 11 all consecutive in world cups. With the win against Bangladesh, he became the first non-Australian captain to win 100 ODI matches, and first Indian captain to achieve the mark. He is also the third captain to win 100 matches, after two Australians, Ricky Ponting, and Allan Border.