MS Dhoni

India had already been kept on the pedestal in front of the world by Sachin Tendulkar, the master blaster, the God of cricket. His game not only lifted the status of the Indian cricket team but also that of India as a whole. He had made India a feared opponent in the world of cricket. But, this was just the beginning as many more young talents would emerge and carry on the task which the God of cricket had started. One such talent was Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who grew up watching Sachin play and would eventually go on to lead his idol and many other extraordinary young talents to create the future of the Indian cricket team. Dhoni or MSD, as he is popularly known as, began his career by playing domestic cricket for the cricket teams of Bihar and Jharkhand, dominating the bowlers since then.

Dhoni made his debut on 23rd December, 2004 against Bangladesh in Chittagong under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly. He played under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, both remarkable captains. Dhoni’s entry into the international cricket scenario was not how anyone would dream of. But as the saying goes, fortune favors the brave, he got a chance to prove his worth to the team and become an important asset for the team. In 2007, Dhoni was handed the captaincy and he was trusted with the leadership of a young and inexperienced team through the first ever T20 World Cup. Dhoni made many quick decisions that benefited the Indian team a lot resulting in the great victory of the 1st ever T20 World Cup.  This was the beginning of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s great legacy. The country was in awe of Dhoni’s captaincy. Dhoni’s ability to remain calm in tough situations set a precedence for the team members and his unflappable nature won him the nickname of ‘Captain Cool’. Dhoni impressed the entire world with his batting prowess and wicket keeping skills too. His fast stumpings, runouts and his ability to call for a review from behind the wickets with more accuracy than anyone till now makes him stand out the most. He was the best finisher India could hope for. For example, if India needed 20 runs in the last over, the pressure would be on the bowlers and not on the batsman, Dhoni, since he was unstoppable in the slog overs. He has won India many matches in spite of bottleneck situations. His wicketkeeping was another aspect he excelled in. There is still no one who can beat him in terms of runouts and stumpings. His fastest stumping record, which also happens to be the world record, is 0.08 seconds. Now, how do you beat that speed! His consistency in his play and the thrilling results he achieved made him the permanent captain of the Indian cricket team in no time. Dhoni led Sachin, his idol, as his captain in the team for 6 years. He was praised as the best captain ever when he won India and Sachin their well-deserved ODI World cup. Dhoni was also the costliest player in the first ever auction of the IPL in 2008. He has been leading the team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for over 15 years now and has won the IPL 4 times. Also, under his captaincy, CSK has won the Champions Trophy twice. Dhoni is the only captain to win all 3 ICC trophies, the T20 World Cup, the ODI World Cup and the Champions Trophy. In 2014, he retired from test cricket and in 2017, he stepped down from his overall captaincy, naming Virat Kohli as his successor. In the latter part of his career, Dhoni started building the future of many youngsters in the team by giving them stands and promoting them up the batting order while coming later in the line to bat himself. This selfless act of his was not recognized by people, who started to criticize him and suggested that he should retire. They did not realize that Dhoni was an in-team mentor for youngsters and that he also helped Virat Kohli in the initial stages of the latter’s captaincy.

On 15th August 2020, Dhoni retired from all forms of cricket after the disappointing semifinal defeat in the 2019 ODI World Cup. However, he still plays for CSK in the IPL.  People have slowly started to realize the need of Dhoni in the Indian cricket team. His appearance on the field playing has become a joy for everyone around the world who loves to watch cricket. Now people long to see him play on the ground. Although Dhoni faced many backlashes during his career, he didn’t let it affect his performance on the field and always had a positive outlook for every situation. In fact, Sachin Tendulkar also acknowledged that Dhoni was the best captain he had played under. Not only India but even the rest of the world accepts and agrees on the fact that Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the best wicketkeeper, finisher and captain any team could wish for and that there will be no one greater than he.