Barring Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni is probably the most popular and definitely the most talked about cricketer from India. He has got to this point coming from the cricketing backwaters, the mining state of Jharkhand, and through a self-made batting and wicketkeeping technique.
A style of captaincy that scales the highs and lows of both conservatism and unorthodoxy. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India have won the top trophies in all formats: topping the Test rankings for 18 months starting December 2009, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the World T20 on his captaincy debut in 2007.
Dhoni, then a ticket inspector with the Indian Railways, had escaped the cricketing world barring the odd whisper among the followers of club cricket in Kolkata until he was 23, when he blasted two centuries in a triangular 50-over tournament for India A in Nairobi. Long-haired and fearless, he soon made a mark in international cricket, and became an instant icon of the crowds with ODI innings of 148 and 183 within a year of his debut.
Dhoni demonstrated all that was right with the new middle-class India. He didn’t fear reputations, but never disrespected either. He improvised, he learned, but didn’t apologise for his batting style, which was not the most elegant. He became a multi-faceted ODI batsman, one who could accumulate, one who could rebuild, and one who could still hit those big sixes when the team desparetly needed them.
Dhoni on winning the final of 2011 World Cup: “I took a quite few decisions tonight, if we hadn’t won I would have been asked quite a few questions: Why no Ashwin, Why sreesanth. Why no Yuvraj, Why did I bat ahead?! That pushed me and motivated to do well.The pressure had got to me in the previous games.
In this game, I wanted to bat up the order and Gary backed me and by the senior players. I had a point to prove to myself. Virat and Gautam batted brillantly; lots of singles. Then with the help of bit of dew , we put pressure on the spinners. I would have liked Gautam to go on and get that big hundred.”
Dhoni on winning the final of 2013 Champions Trophy: “When we were batting I just said get close to 130. The shower helped us because the ball was gripping later on. It’s important to be positive. I said ‘we are the No. 1-ranked team, let’s play like that’.
I knew the two-overs of Powerplay were crucial. I wanted to make them slog off the spinners. They all handled the pressure really well, in international cricket people talk about technique but it’s the ones that deal with the pressure.”
Dhoni on winning 2015 WC match against Pakistan: “I was very happy with our batting. When you are batting first, it is not easy over here. It doesn’t come on that nicely. It has a bit of a variable pace initially. Gets comfortable after that. It was important we stayed in the middle.
The big partnership between Virat and Shikhar. And then Raina capitalised as well. The break in between was important. the World Cup itself can get you going. Also the fans. Even before we came here, there were a lot of fans in our lobby. That helped.”
Video of Vintage Dhoni : MS Dhoni's Biggest Sixes on Australia's Biggest Groundshttps://t.co/dbiPe8zn4D— avishkar govardhane (@avishkargovardh) October 25, 2021