Cricketers past and present, apart from the legions of his fans from all walks of life, wished Mahendra Singh Dhoni on his 38th birthday, drowning the recent wave of criticism around the veteran’s approach to batting.
Dhoni, who turned a year older on Sunday, shook a leg with daughter Ziva in the presence of wife Sakshi as his teammates, in his preferred minimalist manner, celebrated the reverential figure’s birthday.
A day after present captain Virat Kohli and bowling star Jasprit Bumrah shared their fondness for Dhoni, former opener Virender Sehwag posted a heartfelt tweet.
“7 continents in the World 7 days in a week 7 colours in a rainbow 7 basic musical notes 7 chakras in a human being 7 pheras in a marriage 7 wonders of the world 7th day of 7th month – Birthday of a wonder of the cricketing world #HappyBirthdayDhoni. May God Bless You!” Sehwag tweeted.
Ace spinner Harbhajan Singh wrote on his twitter handle, “Happy birthday @msdhoni best wishes going forward.”
Sakshi uploaded pictures from inside the celebrations, which show Dhoni’s face smeared with cake. In another post, Dhoni can be seen cutting three cakes with Ziva while the others surround him.
Rishabh Pant, with whom also Dhoni danced, tweeted, “Happy birthday mahi bhai. Thank u for always being there as a mentor as a brother as a friend. Have more success in life always.”
All-rounder Kedar Jadhav wrote, “Happy birthday @msdhoni (mahibhai) words are not enough to express my love for u wish u all the success and happiness and health in life God bless u always.”
Off-spinner Ashwin Ravichandran said, “Here is wishing one of the best in the business @msdhoni a very very happy birthday.”
There were many former players who wished the man, who led India to three ICC world titles besides taking them to the top of the Test ranking for the first time.
“Wishing @msdhoni all the very best in life. Luck , Love and Success #HappyBirthdayDhoni,” said VVS Laxman.
Mohammad Kaif said, “First played together in Bangladesh in 2004 & shortly saw him announce his arrival against Pak at Vizag when he scored 148, hasn’t looked back since and the legend of MS Dhoni has only grown by the year. Wishing a once in a lifetime player and captain,#HappyBirthdayDhoni.”
Pragyan Ojha wrote, “Many happy returns of the day mahi bhai! God bless you @msdhoni #HappyBirthdayDhoni.”
Wriddhiman Saha wrote on his handle, “Can you recognise us? Happy Birthday @msdhoni bhai! May you have a wonderful year ahead!”
R P Singh said, “Serving Indian cricket since so many years and still looking as fit as ever! Happy birthday brother @msdhoni best wishes for your well-being.”
Referring to his abilities as a finisher, ex-India opener Aakash Chopra said, “If ever there’s a book on cricket, the finishing chapter will be written by Dhoni.”
Former Sri Lanka all-rounder Russel Arnold said, “Happy Birthday to Cricket Thala @msdhoni Keep it cool MS !!!!”
The ICC on Saturday posted a video celebrating Dhoni’s achievements on the eve of his birthday, applauding the World Cup winning captain for changing “the face of Indian cricket”.