New York Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who inspired the country to its first World Cup title in 28 years, found himself ranked above global footy icon Lionel Messi & US President Barack Obama in the 'Time' magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world for the year 2010.
Dhoni, ranked 52nd in the chart, was the only Indian sportsperson to make the list which also included of his compatriots in "Titan of Industry" Mukesh Ambani (61), "Brain Mapper" V S Ramachandran (79), "Philanthropist" Azim Premji (88) & "Change Agent" Aruna Roy (89).
The 29-year-old Dhoni, who has 2925 runs in 54 Tests & 6049 runs in 186 one-dayers, is the most successful Indian cricket captain, under whom the team also won the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in 2007.
The journal described Dhoni as "captain fantastic".
"Dhoni is now universally acknowledged as India's best captain ever. He is also its most likable, exuding both cold confidence & down-to-earth humility.
"As astonishing as Dhoni's talent is his background. Indian success tales are usually associated with pedigree, connections & power. Dhoni, from a small-town relatives of modest means, had none of these, but he is shown India that you can make it with thing: excellence," read the accompanying profile penned by author Chetan Bhagat.
"Dhoni doesn't lead a cricket team; he is also India's captain of hope. & he didn't win India the World Cup; he also taught India how to win."
Dhoni, the highest-ranked Indian in the latest 'Time' Journal 100, is only the second Indian sportsman after Sachin Tendulkar to make the prestigious list.
The others global celebrities included in the list are US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is incidentally ranked higher than Obama at 43rd, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (6), & Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (9).
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