From being the long-haired sensation who took Pakistan bowlers to the cleaners at Visakhapatnam in 2005 to being the guiding light behind the stumps for a young Indian side at the Caribbean in 2017, not many of us have realised how long MS Dhoni has been soaking up the pressure of playing international cricket.
The wicketkeeper batsman has now spent a little over 12 years at the highest level of the game.
Pressure has always been a part of Dhoni's career. During his early days, the then young dasher was required to come out and swing his way through an innings every time and the Jharkhand lad was more than happy doing it.
International captaincy came his way as early as in the fourth year of his international career and Dhoni showed he was a born leader when he led a young Indian side to glory at the inaugural World T20 in 2007. Ever since, the captain and his team had to shoulder the expectations of millions each time they stepped on the field.
Dhoni did not get carried away by either adulation or pressure, but just went about winning and ended India's 28-year-drought by leading the team to Cricket World Cup glory in 2011 at home, with an iconic six to win the final against Sri Lanka.
Despite struggling to produce results in Tests matches with a team in transition after the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, the inspirational skipper made a bold and admirable decision of retiring from the longest format in 2014.
One of the world's most successful ODI captain, who taught the world how to master the art of winning in the 50-over format, turns 36 today, July 7. Wishes are pouring in for the birthday boy, who played a key role in India's win over the West Indies in the recently-concluded ODI series.
One of Dhoni's closest friends, Yuvraj Singh, and his former teammate Virender Sehwag, have led the wishes on Twitter.
Well, not surprisingly, #HappyBirthdayMSD is trending on Twitter since this morning.
Happy birthday @msdhoni ???Have a gr8 day and a fabulous year mahi??— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) July 7, 2017
To the Greatest role model of the current generation and the ones to come, the most successful Indian Captain #HappyBirthdayMSD— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) July 7, 2017
Happy Birthday to the one and only @msdhoni . Hope to see u back next yr in Chennai with CSK.— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) July 7, 2017
To a man who redefined the vigour to achieve and a true icon of sportsmanship #HappyBirthdayMSD— BVS Ravi (@BvsRavi) July 7, 2017
Happy birthday, captain. They don't make them like you anymore. They just can't. #HappyBirthdayMSD— Shirin Sadikot (@ShirinSadikot) July 7, 2017