He led a young Indian team to win the inaugural T-20 Cricket World Cup, India became the numero uno Test team under his captaincy; he captained the Chennai Super Kings to back to back IPL titles and followed it up with winning the Champions League. And then he went on to win the ICC Cricket World Cup for India after twenty-eight long years.
“Destiny – A tyrant’s authority for crime and a fool’s excuse for failure…” - Ambrose Bierce
The tyrant in question here is MS Dhoni and his crime, winning. Destiny’s favorite child, MSD, has often been tagged as the luckiest man in sports. Even after Roberto Di Matteo’s winning streak with Chelsea, MSD still rules the roost when the word LUCK is in question.
His stint as the captain of India and Chennai Super Kings has been as supreme as King Midas because he has won more than he has lost. But most of his successes have been attributed to a four lettered word – LUCK.
Cricket analysts and fans have torn up pages, burned down social media and screamed their lungs out about how lucky this man has been.
Of course he’s been lucky. A ticket checker at the Kharagpur Railway station who played tennis-ball cricket for extra income goes on to become India’s most successful captain – you can’t tread that journey if you aren’t lucky.
Hitting a six to win the World Cup – it doesn’t happen if you aren’t lucky!
Handing the ball to Joginder Sharma in the last over and come up triumphant – well, seriously lucky.
Sneaking into the play-offs of IPL- 5 – some may attribute it to being fixed, but I shall stick to being lucky.
MS Dhoni has been lucky, period. But there’s something that has always bothered me. How can someone be so lucky? What do you have to do to be so lucky? When I was in school, a teacher of ours often quoted some great man who said that good luck is very predictable. If you want more good luck just take more chances, be more active and show up more often. I never quite understood by what it meant but after so many years and after watching MS Dhoni, I can very well relate to what he said.
Take more chances – Throw the ball to an unknown Joginder Sharma.
Be more active – come up the batting order in a World Cup final.
Show up more often – keep coming to the party when the team needs you the most.
I am not trying to patronize MS Dhoni by applauding his captaincy skills because if I look at it with cricketing logic, he falls short in classical cricket captaincy methods and there are plenty who beat him hands down. But there is one place where he scores more than the most – he takes chances, be it backing an unknown youngster or promoting himself even when he’s in wretched form.
Last night, once again, he played a blinder and the social media went ballistic about how lucky he is. But no one bothered to pay attention to what the man did during the practice sessions. As Danny Morrison said, “MSDeee” has been batting for hours and hours in the nets as a man possessed.
And as the famous golfer Gary Player once said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get….”
In sports or in any field, there’s always a factor that you cannot control. In exams, one can study cover to cover but the question paper still remains an unknown factor. Similarly in cricket, all you can do is prepare and hope the ball is in your half to hit.
But again, even if the ball is in your half, can you always hit it? Not always. It takes special ability to grab a chance that comes your way. The lucky ones hang on to it and the rest, curse the lucky one. Dhoni has always seized his moments; he has been the perfect Mauke pe Chauka man and can one really blame him for doing so? I can’t. Opportunities come to everyone, good luck shines on all of us, but it takes special ability to manage that luck and keep it going for you. Maybe he will go ahead and add another IPL to his kitty and we, the not so lucky ones, will always envy him for that but again, “Luck has a peculiar habit of favoring those who don’t depend on it.” – Anonymous
And as for MS Dhoni… “As long as we are winning, I don’t mind hearing that the captain is lucky,”- MS Dhoni.