The 26-year-old wicket-keeper, whose 17 different sponsorship deals dwarf the off-field commercial activities of England batsman Kevin Pietersen, has become a huge hit with India fans since making his international debut in 2004.
But Dhoni, who risks being mobbed by enthusiatic supporters when he walks out of his home in Ranchi, east India, insists his popularity is nothing compared to that of batting great Sachin Tendulkar.
"When we are walking through airports I love to walk behind Sachin because that is a time when you can really sneak through. You sense all eyes are on him," Dhoni told reporters at Lord's where the first of a three-Test series against England starts on Thursday.
But despite his sex-symbol status, he insisted his focus was firmly on cricket.
"The day I stop playing cricket everything stops: whether it's the fan following, the endorsements, or anything else," said Dhoni, who has put his name to footwear, soap and a bank among other deals.
"My responsibility is to play good cricket and that is what I am here to do.
"It is lovely to be here. I can walk in the street, I can sit in restaurants, go wherever I want. If you go to a crowded place in India, such as a mall, you will get mobbed."
Dhoni has thrilled crowds around the world with his big-hitting, a talent he developed as a young player.
"I used to play tennis ball cricket a lot and the only thing to do is hit the ball hard," he said. "You look for a six, no singles, no fours."
Concerns, however, have been raised about his wicket-keeping with fellow gloveman Dinesh Karthik already in the side for his batting alone.
Although Dhoni averages 46.97 in 76 limited-overs internationals, his Test mark of 33.75 in 17 matches, which includes only one hundred, is only marginally better than Karthik's record.
"I always take my matches as my last," said Dhoni. "If you have a bit of pressure, which comes from having competition within the team, it brings the best out of you."
Dhoni, a soccer goalkeeper before he became a wicket-keeper, also said he was happy to be in the birthplace of football.
"I was always quite inclined towards football and so when I was 12 to 13 I went to camp and practised for those couple of years," he explained. "After that we needed a wicketkeeper in our school team.
"Our games teacher said that the basics were the same - as a goalkeeper you move well and catch the ball - so why didn't I give it a go? That's how it started for me.
"I still love football now. I support Manchester United. When our first-class season begins in September/October the Premiership has already started, so when we used to come back from the ground, there was nothing much to do, so we used to watch the games on television."