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From A Railway Ticket Collector To An ICC Trophy Collector – Captain Dhoni Leaves Behind A Legacy

January 6, 2017

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Let me take you back to that electrifying evening at Wankhede which still seems like the day before yesterday to every Indian even after 5 full years and 3 quarters have gone by:

Excitement spilling into the ground from every corner of the jam-packed stadium with the echoing waves of anticipation. Nuwan Kulasekara running in with India needing one hit to seal the game. And then went up MS Dhoni’s willow – that uninhibited swing of the blade rising to the momentous occasion as the ball streaked through the night sky soaring over long on ending up into the ecstatic crowd – inarguably the ideal way for putting an end to a 28-years wait.

While the above scene has played over and over in the euphoric memories of not only Indian cricket fans, but every Indian; the hero of the scene, every now and then, has been under the colossal microscopes for relentless censure. Consider that Pre-World Cup final period where Dhoni looked way below par than the batsman he is and his form with captaincy also had its ups and downs; the former Indian Captain was mercilessly abused on every form of media – print, electronic and social. Every single move of his was highly criticised. So much so that as if there was only one way he could make amends for his earlier mistakes in the lost and tied games of the group stage. The calumnious obscenities kept flowing everywhere and perhaps reached its peak when on the defining night Mr. Cool decided to promote himself over the in-form Yuvraj Singh. And by the time he launched Kulasekara into the orbit the whole nation had gone mad in celebrating what it had achieved. The man himself, Mahendra Singh Dhoni remained as cool as he could, which possibly no one else can. No major celebrations, but the display of his momentary smile on face and a twinkle of eye depicted the utmost satisfaction of his mind. He might have made a few mistakes which cost him games; but not the one mistake that mattered, that of not winning the cup.

That innings was a small snapshot of MS Dhoni’s whole career. First and foremost, pressure situation and Mahendra Singh Dhoni – made for each other. Pressure could never see his back, but only helped him to perform better. The next thing, you never judge him by his form. Third, his stupendous ability to keep the emotions in check. Then the amount of bullets he has faced throughout his cricketing career both on and off the field. And last but not the least; to rise beyond that much of criticism, to go out in the field and to finish games for his side in emphatic fashion more often than not. I don’t know what it takes to do all that for a single entity, but whatever it is, it is nothing compared to the calibre what MSD has got.

When the game crawls towards a tense climax as the nerves start to choke, palms turn sweaty, batsmen get edgy and the bowlers even edgier – what else could a fielding side ask for if there is Mahendra Singh Dhoni standing behind the stumps. The shorter the duration, the better his captaincy looks as he could control these little shifts of the game with his outstanding reading of the match situations. And as the game moves towards the very end he makes it look like there’s only player in the field who is controlling the remaining 12. His fielders felt it, so did the bowlers which definitely had a beneficial effect on his team and a detrimental effect on the batsmen’s state of mind. Such a phenomenal ability to draw maximum impact on minimum period of time with little loss of energy speaks volumes for a captain who has won everything one possibly can.

Throughout his career Dhoni has come up with strange decisions. Sometimes they paid off, sometimes they didn’t. When they didn’t, people were up there to abuse him. When they did his haters termed it as fortune. Only in hindsight the real cricket fans realized that it had a stamp of authority and a touch of class in it. I am amongst those who strongly believe that Dhoni is the most decisive person having a great sense of timing about what to do when and what not. There have been countless instances when we thought that his decisions would backfire but they turned out to be the masterstrokes. So when such a person has felt it’s the right time to step down from the job, I think it won’t be a great thing to argue on that. Rather it’s the time to stand up and applaud the greatest limited over captain to have played the game and a wicket keeper batsman of a pedigree the nation had never known before.

As I have stated this before too that there are more haters of MS Dhoni in India than the number of fans he has here. I won’t waste any time for explaining those dullards about what MS Dhoni actually is, but what I must say, we, the Indians must feel extremely fortunate that we are able to breathe the same air as he does. Who would have thought that staring from a railway ticket collector at Kharagpur he would go on become the only captain ever in the history of the game to make all the ICC trophies to his name! There are few harder things to do than to imagine that he won’t be captaining the men-in-blues any more. Because CHAMPION is just a word. Reality is Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

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