Share the Love

The crestfallen look on Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s face was beamed across the subcontinent as the then 23-year-old — his silky black mane cascading on his broad shoulders — appeared gutted after a nightmarish international debut in 2004.

Dhoni had fallen for a first ball duck in Chittagong, and in the cruellest of manner — run outFor much of the next decade-and-half, Dhoni subjected rivals to such agonies — from behind the stumps, with the bat, and as a shrewd captain of a highly successful team.

Three and half months after that forgettable debut, Dhoni announced his arrival with a breath-taking 148 off 123 balls against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam.

He wielded the willow like a mace and his batting was less technique and more pyrotechnic.

He did not have the steely defence of a Rahul Dravid or the silken touch of a VVS Laxman but Dhoni made up with his muscular ingenuity.

He converted the yorker into a scoring opportunity with his trademark ‘helicopter shot’, a culmination of violent convulsions involving his arm, wrists and torso.

Dhoni wrote his own keeping manual too, barely moving hands sideways before gathering the ball and rather thrusting them down to pull off electric stumpings.

His biggest legacy, however, would be as India’s ‘Captain Cool’ who was also one of one-day cricket’s greatest finishers.

Dhoni is the only captain to win all ICC trophies — T20 World Cup in 2007, 50-overs World Cup in 2011 and Champions Trophy in 2013. Under him, India also became the top ranked Test nation in 2009.

And he led a cricket-mad nation of 1.3 billion with ice in his veins.

“It’s almost as if he doesn’t have them; a performance-enhancing gift from birth,” India’s former mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton wrote about Dhoni’s control over emotion in his memoir.

Share the Love

You Might Also Like
Comments By User
Add Your Comment
Your comment must be minimum 30 and maximum 200 charachters.
Your comment must be held for moderation.
If you are adding link in comment, Kindly add below link into your Blog/Website and add Verification Link. Else link will be removed from comment.