Cometh the hour, cometh the man; such has been the story of the small town boy who became the biggest success story in world cricket. Terming the impact of Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the Indian cricketing fraternity to be immense, would be a severe understatement. From, having his house vandalized for some poor outings in the World Cup in the Caribbean to becoming the idol for millions, Dhoni has become the household synonym for the game in a country filled with obsession and poverty in equal measure.
With MS Dhoni stepping off from the limited overs captaincy, we look back at what he has given us all in his glorious career. In this article, we bring to you some of the greatest achievements of India’s most successful skipper.
Lifting the Cup of Glory
The biggest achievement for any captain in world cricket; lifting the ICC Cricket World Cup and this man did in style. Captaining a group of experienced and young individuals, Dhoni’s leadership was thoroughly tested throughout this tournament. His tactics paid rich dividends as the Indian bowlers repaid the faith of the captain with complete conviction. While his own form with the bat was a much talked-about topic throughout, his match-winning innings in the finale was enough to shut the critics. Lifting the trophy after a 28-year long wait, Dhoni gave the greatest gift to every Indian cricket fan.
Champion of the champions
A change of personnel and a year of failures being put behind, MS Dhoni did the seemingly inevitable once again. With almost a completely different outfit that won the World Cup in 2011, Dhoni managed to bring out the best from a group of young folks raring to stamp themselves on the international arena. With India winning every single game that they played in the tournament, Dhoni lifted the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 adding the only feather left to be kept in his bag.
Pulling his team out of the ruins
After a disastrous exit from the World Cup in 2007, Indian cricket was in shambles when the inaugural T20 World Cup came up. With the experienced campaigners hanging their boots and unwilling to play the shortest format of the game, it was up to Mahendra Singh Dhoni to captain an inexperienced group of youngsters and lead them into a pack of hungry wolves. And boy, how he did it! Demolishing almost every team that came their way, Dhoni never put a foot wrong in that tournament. He lifted the cup, beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the finals and propelled himself to a journey that has become a part of history.
The ultimate test triumph
This was one of those moments that would have made every traditionalist in the game hang his head in embarrassment for; there had been a time when Dhoni had been bashed up for his unorthodox approach to the gentlemen’s game. Some had even gone on to imply that his unorthodoxy is only suited for the shorter formats of the game and that, his tactical genius would come under the scanner during the real test. As Dhoni lifted the ICC Test Mace during the annual ICC award presentation, he certainly proved a fair point to his critics.
Victory down under
A victory against Australia in the Australia has always been a special feeling for any team and when India shook off the controversial blues of the test series that is still remembered for the Monkey Gate, and managed to win the Commonwealth Bank Tri-series, it was a moment of jubilation for every Indian cricket fan. Beating a team with the likes of Ponting and Gilchrist with his young guns, Dhoni became the blue-eyed boy of Indian cricket.
Undoubtedly, one of the greatest Indian captains and the most successful wicketkeeper-batsman for India, he has faced a lot of flak and criticism for his recent performances. Such was the benchmark set by him over the years that his comparison has been, with himself. The middle-order aggressor, who loved finishing games for his country with humongous sixes, has been facing an all-time low. His reflexes have slowed down and his scoring rates have come down. He isn’t the man to come out and hit them out of the park, anymore. But Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not a man to be bogged down by odds and take our word for it: he would take his last bow on a high. Sportwalk pays a humble tribute to the man who inspired millions to dream. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.