NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket fraternity took to social media to extend birthday wishes for former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who turned 39 on Tuesday.
Regarded as one of the most successful Indian captains of all time, Dhoni has been on a sabbatical ever since the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup where India lost to New Zealand. It's been almost a year that he has been away from the cricket field, yet conversations about his return or future retirement have never died out in the time since and he still remains one of the most talked-about cricketers in the present era.
Dhoni is the only international captain to have won an ICC 50-over World Cup, T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy. He even led India to the number one ranking in both Test and ODI formats.
Several members of the Indian cricket fraternity took to Twitter to wish Dhoni on his special day.
"Happy b'day Mahi bhai. Wish you good health and happiness always. God bless you," tweeted Indian captain Virat Kohli.
Indian limited overs vice captain Rohit Sharma tweeted a photo of him and Dhoni having an energy drink with the caption, "Cooling off with Mr Cool. Happy birthday MS Dhoni."
"Happy Birthday Youngster! Have an absolute blast Legend mahendrasinghdhoni #MSDhonibirthday #HBDDhoni #Dhoni," Indian coach Ravi Shastri tweeted.
"Wish you a very happy birthday Dhoni bhai. Have a good one! MS Dhoni," tweeted Test vice captain Ajinkya Rahane.
"Happy bday to a legend, an inspiration to me and many more. Have a good one Mahi bhai," tweeted spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
"Happy birthday Mahi bhai. I hope you have a wonderful and a fantastic day. Thank you for being such an amazing human being. God bless you," said Kuldeep Yadav.
"Happy birthday to my Bittu from your Chittu. My friend who has taught me to be a better human being and stood by me in bad times MS Dhoni," India all-rounder Hardik Pandya wrote on Twitter.
"Happy birthday to MS Dhoni...a true leader who led from front, a true brother who stands for his real brothers. A true fighter till the last ball in play. Thanks a lot brother for such great moments with me...loved every advise given to me and team," S Sreesanth said.
"Many more happy returns of the day to a man whose composure and patience continues to be an inspiration," wrote VVS Laxman.
Virender Sehwag tweeted: "Once in a generation, a player comes and a nation connects with him, think of him as a member of their family, kuch bahut apna sa lagta hai. Happy Birthday to a man who is the world (Dhoni-ya) for his many admirers."
"Here's wishing a very Happy Birthday MS Dhoni to one of my favorite human, brother & a leader I could ever ask for! The man who has always played with his mind and heart. Thank you for all the inspiration Dhoni Bhai," tweeted Suresh Raina.
"Wishing one of India's greatest captain and my inspiration MS Dhoni, a very happy birthday!" tweeted Indian all rounder Deepti Sharma.
"Anhoni ko honi kar de, honi ko anhoni Ek jagah jab jama hon teeno Mahendra Singh Dhoni May God bless you and have a wonderful year ahead @msdhoni #HappyBirthdayDhoni," tweeted former India batsman Vinod Kambli.
BCCI also paid a tribute to the former Indian captain by sharing a montage of the monstrous sixes which he smashed throughout his career.
Dhoni, who made his debut in 2004 against Bangladesh, has been a remarkable servant of the Indian cricket. The 39-year-old has been a vital cog for Indian cricket ever since he made his entry into international cricket. Be it his brilliant glove work or his skillful batting, Dhoni has contributed in every way possible for taking the Men in Blue to the pinnacle of the sport.
He has so far played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is for India, amassing over 17,000 international runs.
Speculations about his retirement from all forms of international cricket have been going ever since the 2019 World Cup. But Dhoni has still not made any such announcement.