After India’s narrow defeat in the recently concluded T20 series against New Zealand, many Indian cricket fans are upset with Dhoni. He was considered the main reason behind the defeat by the media. Though I have grown up watching the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman in the Indian cricket team, my favorite player in the present squad is our captain cool MS Dhoni. Before the much awaited T20 world cup to begins, I just want to recall the qualities of Dhoni as a leader and how he has been successful throughout his career in international cricket.
The story of our captain cool is nothing short of a fairy tale. After a quick first round exit from the 2007 ODI world cup, Indian cricket was in a state of complete turmoil. After the introduction of the T20 World cup, the Indian cricket seniors like Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid voluntarily opted themselves out of this format. And since then, that decision by the seniors has been a boon for team India. A great leader like Dhoni was introduced to the world. Dhoni wanted the selectors to blood youngsters for the T20 World Cup. And it is known to every one that Dhoni created a sensation by getting India the world cup after 24 long years with a team that nobody had any expectations from. And then IPL entered Indian cricket. In this course of time, Indian cricket has experienced a lot of sweet memories like number one spot in tests and ODIs, defeating the then champion Australia on their own soil and in subcontinent, winning Asia cup and finally the mighty 50 over World Cup in 2011. After having proved himself as a lucky charm for Indian cricket in T20 format, he was assigned the responsibility of the team in ODIs and test cricket and he has been successful in these formats too.
Dhoni has moulded himself into a cool and calm person from a naturally dashing guy after he was made the captain in all the three formats. In fact, it is the captain-ship responsibilities that has made him change himself. He was successful in reducing the pressure on the minds of young cricketers like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravi Ashwin during their early days of international cricket. He started facing the media if any player of the team was unwilling to do that. He brought the seniors and juniors of the team on a correct path, and from then onward, the team started performing well and won many series in tests and ODIs against bigger teams like England, Australia and South Africa.
He showed the world that the team could perform better even when the odds were against them. Eventually, the seniors have also started backing him up. He started promoting himself up in the batting order when the pressure was really on the team (Remember the 2011 world cup final?). That decision of him could have gone either way but Dhoni knew what he was doing and why. He is brave enough to take spontaneous decisions on the field and he is ever ready to admit his mistakes.
In general in any sport and particularly cricket, there is a lot of pressure on the captain. And this pressure would be even higher in case of a wicket keeper captain. He definitely has to face the media before and after the match. He has to face the opponents in the ground and simultaneously, has to maintain the good form as a batsman. Dhoni has been successfully managing these things with ease throughout these 5 years.
Though he has achieved a lot of things in his career, he is humble and always down to earth. The way he treated Saurav Ganguly and Anil Kumble in their last games in the international cricket won the praise from the critics too. In 1983, Kapil Dev brought India the first world cup ever by managing the seniors and bringing out the best from youngsters. Though the present squad for the world cup has no new faces, hope Dhoni would help them bring out their best in the T20 World Cup and repeat the heroics of 2007.