Decades ago when people were asked ‘who is the best player in the Indian cricket team or who will you credit for the game’s popularity in India’, they would straight up answer– Sachin Tendulkar or Kapil Dev. Ask that question now. Be it the elderly, the youth or the middle-aged… everyone will cast their votes on Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
He is not just known for his excellence in cricket but he is credited for changing the perspective of what the audience thinks of cricket. Hence Dhoni did not give cricket viewers…he gave it its audience. That was the power that MS Dhoni had on people and that is why his understanding of what the public wants is incomparable.
This former Indian captain started his journey to playing International in the year 2004 and three years down the lane, in 2007, he took the teams captaincy and two years from there, the team became world’s no.1 test team for the first time. Never was he a man of just results, he believed in the teams growth and nourishment which would lead to the results. In 2007, he lifted the ICC T20 World Cup, ICC ODI World Cup in 2011 and India won Champions Trophy in 2013 led by Dhoni, making him the first and the only cricket player to have led a side that went on to win all the ICC trophies. They don’t just ‘say’ that he is the best in the world.
Once in a generation player, who is not only an idol for cricket lovers but sports enthusiasts all over the world is known for his cool demeanor on field. But if you think of it, aggression is what actually is his style. Might not be very evident, but his playing pattern and bold moves are more aggressive than cool but probably what the world appreciates is his clamnes when he takes those bold, risky moves on the field.
He managed to crack the tough nut, Tamil Nadu, when he captained Chennai Super Kings in 2008 and went on to do so ever since. One of the toughest states to make a fan base for a state foreigner, he made his place in the hearts of people who lovingly addressed him as ‘Thala’ which means leader. He retired from test cricket in 2014 while India’s tour to Australia after playing his 90th test and gave up on the captaincy in 2017. Last when people saw him in action was the semi final clash with New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup and since then he has been on a sabbatical. But to the satisfaction of his followers, he will play in the Indian Premier League and will lead the team, whenever that is. So, as he turns 39, we can only say that this best finisher’s journey has only started and he will surely finish it in style.
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