M.S Dhoni- The Kohinoor Of Team India
Dhoni, Dhoni, Dhoni !
The name which makes cricket fans fill up with intense pride and excitement. Dhoni has been the most successful Indian captain so far. In his glittering career spanning over 15 years, Dhoni scaled innumerable heights of success that is almost impossible to measure. An astute leader, shrewd captain, crafty wicket-keeper, and unparalleled finisher. Dhoni was a force, a complete army in himself.
The Arrival Of This Legend
Born in a middle class family in Ranchi, he made noise in the town with his cricketing skills ever since his early days. His labour finally paid off when he secured a seat in the national team in 2004. Dhoni took the world by storm when he belted 148 in his fifth ODI against arch-rivals Pakistan. He soon followed it with a massive 183 runs against Sri Lanka. The once unknown Ranchi-teenager had now become the man loved in every corner of India. But this wasn’t it. A truckload of achievements was waiting to come Dhoni’s way and they all did in full swing. Four years after tasting success in T20Is, Dhoni led India to a triumphant campaign in the biggest event of cricket: an ODI World Cup. It was under his leadership that India clinched the historic final of the 2011 World Cup against Sri Lanka in Mumbai. A 28-year-old wait had finally ended.
Just two years after this glorious achievement, MSD created history with an inspired Indian unit in England to win the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. With this achievement, Dhoni became the only captain to win all three ICC events. Dhoni’s record as a captain is second to only Australian legend Ricky Ponting. However, he tops the list of playing the most matches as an Indian captain. Of the 332 matches he led India in, he won 178 and lost 120. Reading his incredible achievements as a leader almost makes us forget about the brilliant batsman that he was. He scored 17,266 runs being a player who batted seven times out of ten with tail-enders and as someone who barely had a fixed position to bat. Also, with 10,773 runs in 50-overs cricket, he happens to be only the only keeper-batsman to have aggregated over 10,000 runs in ODIs, the other being Kumar Sangakkara (13,341). In fact, his career run tally as a wicket-keeper batsman also stands second to only Sangakkara’s 17,840.
A True Keeper
Having played each one of his 538 international encounters as a wicket-keeper, Dhoni tops the list of most matches as a designated wicket-keeper. In fact, he is the only man in history to feature in 500+ matches as a designated glove-man. MS Dhoni is a name that reverberates with every generation. His awareness of different situations in the game redefined everyone’s approach towards cricket. Dhoni’s incredible contributions towards the national team hold a legacy which is hard to be changed. In fact, cricket has not only built Dhoni’s character but has also divulged it in the best possible way. He is the only captain in the history of cricket who has won all three coveted ICC trophies; ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, ICC ODI World Cup in 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
Let us find out the top most achievements of Dhoni.
1. The first captain of the Indian Cricket Team after Kapil Dev to lead us to victory.
The 2011 World Cup final is etched into the minds of every cricket fan across the world, with Dhoni finishing off with a magnificent 6 to end a nail biting match. Dhoni, who by then had already carved his name in the legends of cricket, was elevated to god-like levels. This match was also Sachin Tendulkar’s final World Cup match.
2. His first stint with captaincy led Indian Cricket Team to victory in the first ever ICC T20 World Cup in 2007.
The heart stopping finale of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan is something people will never forget, it goes without saying how religiously Indians watch India vs Pakistan, and this being the first ever Twenty20 world championship, it was a matter of great prestige for us to win the final, especially against arch rivals. Captain Dhoni kept a calm head throughout the match and the moment right before Sreesanth caught the ball is perhaps, the slowest moment in an Indian Cricket fan’s life, the kind of moments that seem to stretch into infinity, and when it’s over, you wish to experience it all over again.
3. Fiery on the field, humble everywhere else.
Dhoni is famous for calling out his players for slacking off, emphasizing on fielding by every player on his squad. He was also supremely humble, choosing to walk behind the team after winning the 2011 World Cup win, while the team lifted Sachin on their shoulders for a lap around the stadium, and always choosing to push his team to the forefront instead of grabbing the trophy and posing with it exclusively.
4. The fastest wicket-keeper
Dhoni has credited Adam Gilchrist as being an inspiration on his wicket keeping, and while the Australian legend’s tales of amazement are many, cricket fans are not likely to forget Dhoni’s extremely quick reflexes. Named The fastest wicket keeper Alive by fans, a play on DC Comics character The Flash, Dhoni’s antics as the wicketkeeper deserves a whole new article.
5. Dhoni brought life back to Indian cricket.
Dhoni leaves a legacy of going on to achieve amazing heights with the team and his strategy. The average Indian cricket fan was becoming increasingly frustrated around 2005, when Dhoni, after a horrendous debut, knocked his way into the eyes of the public when he knocked a 148 against Pakistan. It was after this fantastic knock that Indian cricket was back on the minds of the average Indian, coming to a head by the time of the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World-Cup. While we are sure that the hardcore fans were always there, the average Indian now hopes that Virat Kohli picks up the legacy Dhoni leaves behind him, we are excited to see Dhoni settle for the Number 2 slot on the batting line up and a return of MS Dhoni, the blitzkrieg opener.
On the 15th of August, Dhoni announced his retirement. This was a sad day for all cricket fans. Dhoni leaves behind an amazing legacy which will always be remembered.
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