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I am Mahendra Singh Dhoni; I am plain lucky

CONTRIBUTOR
31 Dec 2012, 09:49 IST
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Winning Captain's Press Conference - 2011 ICC World Cup

My name is Mahendra Singh Dhoni and currently I am the captain of the Indian Cricket team. I have lost 8 test matches on the trot abroad and also the home test series against England. Throughout my career, questions have been asked about my technique, my commitment and my luck – yes, my luck. They blame me for my luck. They feel I have been lucky all along. Every social networking website, every social forum is calling for my head and pointing out flaws that did not exist a few months ago. To make things easier for everyone today I shall tell you the story of my luck.

I was lucky because I managed to settle the ‘Keeper’ problem in the team

After Nayan Mongia retired or was sacked from the Indian cricket team, I was lucky in becoming the first regular keeper after a long time to hold on to the spot. I am apologetic that I solved the batsman-cum-keeper issue forever and excelled both as a batsman and keeper. I made sure that the best Indian player in the team did not have to make a sacrifice and keep wickets in the ODIs and I feel I was very unjust as I blocked the spot for hundreds of other keepers who would have come in and gone out of the team every few months. Wicketkeepers should not score centuries, they should just hang around with the main batsmen and make sure that he scores the runs; again I was just lucky that I changed the role in the Indian setup. I was just lucky as some 183 runs came off my bat in an ODI innings; it’s just that edges went to the boundary off the middle of the bat and the bowlers pace made sure that the ball travelled 20 rows back. I must thank the bracelet I never wear as it happened again and again and I became a permanent wicket keeper.

I was lucky to be made the captain in T-20s, ODIs and Tests

After the seniors stepped away from the T-20 World Cup of 2007, the selectors appointed me the captain. I attribute it to my luck that the selectors did not choose me just out of the blue and handed me the captaincy. My record before the World Cup was brilliant, but obviously no one looked at the records; my stars and planets were so firmly in place that they affected the stars of the selection committee and they made me the captain. After Dravid stepped down from the ODI captaincy, my luck again manipulated the selectors and they made me the ODI captain and after winning 2 tests against Australia as captain, they surprisingly made me the Test captain as well.  Am I not the luckiest?

I was lucky that some franchise picked me in the IPL and it is the most successful franchise so far

ACL Twenty20 Final: Chennai Super Kings v Warriors

This one makes me laugh the loudest. The bead necklaces that I do not wear and the rings that are never on my finger influenced my luck and made me an iconic player in the IPL. How could they possibly make a World Cup winning captain an iconic player and keep him at par with some of the greatest players in India? Only my luck knows the answer. I was very lucky that my team went right up to the finals of the first edition to lose off the last ball and won third and the fourth IPLs. I continue to be so lucky that I made the semis of the 2nd edition and the finals of the 5th. Its been luck for all the five years and my performances and tactical changes have been because of the change I never made to my name as my astrologer suggested.

 I was lucky to have an ODI average better than Gilchrist’s and a Test average better than most Indian keepers in the history of the game

I am so lucky that the changes according to Vaastu that I did not make in my house reflected brilliantly on my batting performances in ODIs. I probably think the average calculating software made an error and my average after 212 ODIs is around 51. I am sure I have always remained not out and that has also been a factor that has helped my average go a lot above Gilchrist’s considered to be the best ODI keeper ever. Obviously he played some great knocks while I have scored runs only when the bowling attacks were pathetic and the pitch was super for batting. I am so lucky that my place in the Test team is in question. I have been able to muster up an average of 38 which is just because of the fact that the Talisman a holy sage never gave me helped the average and put it way above some of the most successful Indian keepers ever.

I was lucky as some of the most prestigious awards and honors were bestowed upon me

The ICC player of the year award 2008 and 2009, The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the Padma Shri and being named on many lists of sports achievers are some of the honours that luck brings. The rating meters, the different juries and the calculators of the different sports analysts around the world somehow decided to project me as a great sportsman and my luck once again helped me sit top of the perch. My luck, thanks to the red handkerchief that I do not have and never keep in my pocket while batting, has been so great that even TIME magazine named me in a list they published; just imagine TIME magazine was tricked by my luck.

 I am lucky because I captained the best Indian team

I just walked in and took the captaincy of the best Indian team. What great luck. The team had lost in the worst possible manner ever in the 50 over World Cup, the team had issues with the coach and senior players, politics were rampant and senior players were trying hard to shoulder out each other to maintain their places in the team. Yes I had been appointed the captain of the best Indian team. We won the T-20 World Cup because I had a great team, we won the 50 over World Cup because I had a great team and we became number 1 in tests because I had a great team. My luck made sure I went with the best team and won accolades just because my team was great. It’s unfortunate, however, that I took this best team to England and Australia and we lost all the test matches. I was so lucky to have the best team, but alas my luck wasn’t helping me and my team. Such is my luck.

 I am lucky that I hit the winning runs in the World Cup final of 2011

India v Sri Lanka - 2011 ICC World Cup FinalThis was indeed my lucky day. Throughout the Cup I had not played well and obviously my luck had to help me in the biggest match of my career. There was no pressure I must tell you. I was so lucky that Muralitharan started bowling me easy deliveries. I was so lucky that Malinga bowled like Venkatesh Prasad and that I made 91 at more than run-a-ball, hitting the winning runs with a mis-hit that cleared the stands. Phew, I just wonder if it was that ‘grah shanti’ pooja that I never did in my house that helped me achieve this feat.

I consider myself to be a lucky man, a very lucky man, but not because of my achievements, but because today I represent India. I stand there as a captain who takes responsibility for the losses as much as for the wins. I celebrate when we win and I feel equally bad when we lose. A team does not win a cricket World Cup every four years. Except Australia, no team has even won it twice after the West Indies. The number one ranking in Tests came with a settled team. Putting all excuses behind us, we became number one in Tests.

If after all this you call me lucky and call my achievements a fluke, I accept that I, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, winner of 2007 T-20 World Cup, winner of the 2011 50-over World Cup and the captain of the once Number 1 Test team, am plain lucky.

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