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Mahendra Singh Dhoni : Tribute to Mr.COOL

MSD after the World Cup triumph

While, the Indian team looks set to win yet another Test series overseas, let’s take a look at the man who has taken this team to dizzying new heights. One of the facts that I noticed while researching about Dhoni is that, if he hadn’t taken up cricket as a profession he still would have taken up another sport professionally. Many of us know that he was a goalkeeper and that he got into his school team as a wicketkeeper purely on his goalkeeping skills and that he went on from there to being a batsman. But what many of us don’t know is he plays badminton and that he represented his state in national tournaments. It is our luck that he chose to stick to cricket.

When Dhoni entered the big stage he was known to be the big hitting, swashbuckling batsman who knew this one way of batting that was clearing boundaries at will. But, with every match he played it was evident to everyone that he was a man of cricketing substance. His adaptability to different situations is what makes him one of the very best finishers to have played in this decade or so.

If Dhoni’s 183 against Sri Lanka in which he hit 15 boundaries and 10 sixes and his 148 runs from 123 balls against Pakistan was the way he announced himself on the big stage. His recent 91 run knock against Sri Lanka in the final of the ICC World Cup which involved more of quick ones and twos and the occasional big hit has shown how much he has matured as a batsman. He has been able to play the anchor role and the pinch hitter role with the same ease and there aren’t too many batsmen in the
world who can boast of these qualities.

If a player can make it to a team based on his captaincy skills alone, it has to be Dhoni. His astute captaincy has taken India to heights never achieved by any other Indian team. Though, Dhoni’s unorthodox field placements and questionable team selections have often come under the scanner he more often than not gets the results and more importantly he has gained the respect of his team for what he is.

Dhoni has been one of the best captains if not the best to have led India. His decision to place Matthew Hayden at straight mid-off while there was also a long-off may have been unorthodox but it was that fielder who took the catch of Kieron Pollard was simply the reason why Chennai Super Kings won the 2010 Indian Premier League. Another one of his best decisions was to promote himself up the order when he hadn’t been in the best of form. This bold move paid off and was one of the main reasons for India’s win in the World Cup.

Dhoni is the most successful Indian captain having won the inaugural T20 championship, ODI World Cup, IPL 2010, IPL 2011, Champions League 2010 to name a few prominent. He also has an enviable Test captaincy record having won 15 matches and drawn 8 matches of the 26 matches he has been captain. Having seen the way he has matured with the bat, it can be said with absolute certainty that much more can be expected from MSD.

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