IPL 2018, The magic of MS Dhoni: Enjoy it while it lasts
The Kings XI Punjab may have won, but there is no doubting about who India was talking about.
Every human being is, at most times. living in hope. Hope for something positive to happen. A hope for their lives altering for the better.
Even, in the hope of viewing something that can change their day, on its way to be ruined, but shaken by what he had just seen.
"True champions aren't always the ones who win, but those with the most guts"
It might not strike a lot of people's mind immediately, but until eight years ago, MS Dhoni was ranked No.1 in the ICC's rankings for ODI batsman.
While he never got the big scores even then, his contributions with the bat proved to be the difference for India on a lot of occasions.
The difference between then and now is the consistency with which he made those contributions.
On Sunday night, however, he decided it was time. Time to roll back the years. Time to bring out the six-hitting beast hidden within him, waiting to come out at the slightest opportunity.
An unbeaten 44-ball 79 chasing 198 against the Kings XI Punjab, may not have helped CSK get over the line, but the full house at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, surely must have left home, knowing that they had seen an innings to speak about for a long time to come.
To do this with a back problem, that resurfaced during the course of the innings, meant that Dhoni literally had to stand and swing with the asking rate climbing at the rate of knots.
Whenever these days Dhoni is in the mood and striking most deliveries off the middle of his bat, social media is abuzz with statements directed towards those who take a dig at him, for the manner in which he slows the rate down in the shorter format and does not improve the pace of the game from the word go.
But the pertinent point to notice when he's connecting deliveries is that, invariably there is always a sense which the general public gets that it's coming. The big hits are just around the corner.
When he is timing the ball well, suddenly the confidence, in not just him, but in everybody else shoots up to another level.
There is renewed hope of the tide changing. Of the side lifting itself from the depths of defeat to the ecstasy of victory.
Dhoni is known to have put injuries in the back seat in the past and move along.
Remember the final of the Tri-series against Sri Lanka in 2013 when he rallied along the tail to take India home in a nail-biting final?
Adversity brings out the best in many, but it elevates only a few. It's almost like when he is not fully fit, when the odds are stacked against him, when the asking rate in going only one way, he brings out his real nature.
The beast in him was certainly unleashed and out in the open on Sunday night and even though his side lost, the magic of MS Dhoni was there for all to see.
May it continue for the duration of the next one month and more, for if it does, the count of his supporters vs his non-supporters might have surely titled the former's way!