In spite of being criticised for his poor run of form during India's recent One-day International (ODI) series loss against England, Mahendra Singh Dhoni still rules the hearts of fans as far as popularity is concerned. Interestingly, he is a more admired sportsperson than Indian skipper Virat Kohli and legend Sachin Tendulkar. In a survey conducted by YouGov, which undertakes various polls and surveys in their online community of over four million people, the 37-year-old was the top sportsperson with an "admiration score" of 7.7 percent, reported www.icc-cricket.com. Out of the various public figures in the final table, Dhoni was only bettered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Tendulkar was next best with 6.8 percent, while Kohli managed only 4.8 percent votes.
Dhoni has won several awards in his career and this is just another feather in his cap.
He is the most successful Indian Test captain of all time, winning 27 games and leading his team to the No. 1 spot in the ICC Rankings in 2009 for the first time ever.
Still playing in the ODI and T20I sides, the wicket-keeper batsman recently became the 12th ever batsman in ODIs to get past 10,000 runs.
Dhoni was booed by a certain section of fans in the recently-concluded ODI series that India lost 1-2 and speculation over his retirement too made noises. However, this survey has validated the fact that Dhoni's public spotlight shines brightest at the moment.
As far as the 29-year-old Kohli is concerned, he is one of the most followed athletes in the world on social media.
Kohli is now ranked 9th in a report released by HopperHQ, the Instagram post scheduler, based on how much a sponsored post could cost brands.
Kohli earns an estimated $120,000 per Instagram post to become the leading Indian on the list.