As tomorrow’s crucial cricket match approaches, our reader Nalin Rai talks about skipper MS Dhoni’s unmatched abilities that have brought the team to this level. Read more to know why Dhoni is one of the best things that ever happened to Indian cricket.
In just a few hours from now, one of the most decisive moments in Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s life will arrive when India faces Australia in the Semi-Finals of the ICC World Cup 2015. Critics are already sharpening their fangs and giving allusions to some vitriol they might spread if India were to lose to Australia, forgetting the fact that he has broken all records that need to be broken and has stamped an authority on World Cricket through his performance and his conduct, which would be a feat difficult for his successors to emulate for quite a long time to come.
Obviously fans of Dhoni would not be swayed by tomorrow’s results for sure, as it is just another match for them, or as the famous Phil Collins song goes – just another day in paradise. But it indeed is an opportune time to put Dhoni’s achievements in perspective:
1. Dhoni’s achievements in world cricket gave aspirations to small time India to actualize the dream that in most of the cases was given a silent burial owing to the geographical disadvantages that they possess and allow them to break free from the shackles.
2. The exemplary qualities of leadership that he has imbibed and nurtured would become subject matter of case studies after he walks into the sunset.
He has pushed himself into the background and allowed his teammates to bask in the glory of achievements. A case in point is the World Cup Victory in 2011.
3. His uncanny ability to recognize talent, build it into a team and have immense faith in his team mates has been another mark of leadership that Dhoni has displayed throughout his tenure as captain.
And when the captain backs his teammates they also come around and put in the performance which is mandated from them, the century of Rohit Sharma in the quarter finals being the latest such example.
4. His exceptional knack to fox the opponents through his surprise moves.
Starting from the times when he bowled Joginder Singh in that penultimate over to win the ICC World Cup against Pakistan, to promoting himself up the order before Yuvraj Singh in the finals of the ICC World Cup 2011 and clinching the match for India.
5. Not be awed by reputation but select the team based on the player’s performance and his role in the scheme of things.
Were it somebody else, a Virender Sahwag or a Gautam Gambhir or for that matter a Harbhajan Singh may still have been in the playing squad. But Dhoni discerned that they were past their prime so he replaced them with a new set of lieutenants and welded them together in such a way that Team India has become the most talked team in the World Cup.
6. Never forget your roots and always return after the show is over.
Had he aspired and desired, he could have been a celebrity resident of any metropolitan city of the country. But he continues to seek sustenance from his roots, and as soon as a tournament is over, he returns to his base in Ranchi and continues to be there till the time the next call of duty beckons.
This could perhaps be the last time that cricket fans may be seeing Dhoni play in a global arena. With such a dedicated fan following and the blessings of the country with him, Dhoni will continue to be one of the greatest living legends that India has produced in recent times, be it a positive or a negative result tomorrow.
– Nalin Rai