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From Winning the Padma Bhushan to Engineering CSK’s Fairytale Return – Relive MS Dhoni’s Year

Akhil Nair |Cricketnext | Updated: July 7, 2018, 4:40 PM IST
From Winning the Padma Bhushan to Engineering CSK’s Fairytale Return – Relive MS Dhoni’s Year

India's MS Dhoni in action against England. (AP Photos)

On the eve of his 37th birthday, MS Dhoni became only the third Indian after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, and the ninth player overall to make 500 appearances in international cricket. While his team couldn’t win the second T20I in Cardiff on Friday, Dhoni's family and teammates got together after the game to celebrate his birthday.

It's been a momentous year for the keeper-batsman as he rolled back the years and produced some enthralling knocks that made him a fan-favourite. To go with that he was also honoured by the government of India for his contribution to the sport. CricketNext takes a look at the year gone by for Dhoni:

Padma Bhushan

The highlight of the year was when Dhoni was conferred with Padma Bhushan – India’s third-highest civilian award — on seventh anniversary of India's World Cup 2011 triumph.

President Ram Nath Kovind awards the Padma Bhushan award to Indian cricketer Mahindra Singh Dhoni, at a function at the presidential palace in New Delhi on April 2, 2018. (Image: AP) President Ram Nath Kovind awards Padma Bhushan to Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni at a function. (Image: AP)

The former skipper, who's also a Lieutenant Colonel (Hon) in the Indian Army, received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind and added another feather to his cap. With this achievement he became the 11th Indian cricketer to receive the Padma Bhushan after CK Nayudu, MK Vizianagaram, Vinoo Mankad, Sunil Gavaskar, Bhalindra Singh, Prof DB Deodhar, Lala Amarnath, Kapil Dev, Chandu Borde and Rahul Dravid.

Third IPL Title

Less than two months later, MS Dhoni had his greatest moment of the year on the field. He led Chennai Super Kings to their third title triumph since the inception of the tournament in 2008. The victory is all the more important as CSK were returning to the competition after a gap of two years. On personal front, Dhoni scored 455 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 150.66. Such was his season that it ended all uncertainties about Dhoni’s place in India's T20I and ODI squad.

MS Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh. (Harbhajan/ Twitter Image) MS Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh pose with IPL trophy. (Harbhajan/ Twitter Image)

Back in Cardiff, MS Dhoni walked out to bat sporting a grey stubble. But ageing has hardly had any impact on Dhoni. His fitness is at par with the best in the side. He matches the youngsters while running between the wickets and still possesses the power to comfortably clear the ropes. His wicket-keeping abilities are perhaps still the best in Indian cricket.

India were struggling at 79/4 when Dhoni walked out and added 32 runs from 24 balls. His innings helped the visitors post a respectable 148 runs, but England managed to level the series courtesy of Alex Hales’ half-century.
First Published: July 7, 2018, 1:34 PM IST

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