Friday, May 16, 2014

An Enigma named MS Dhoni

All this time I have been writing about IPL, Indian cricket, Aussies playing in IPL etc. but I felt something was missing which needs be addressed. The missing aspect here is none other than our very own MS Dhoni who enjoys number of sobriquets namely "Mr. Cool", "Best finisher", "Most successful Indian captain" and many more. Believe me I am confused as to what to write about him and how much, for there are plethora of things to be written about him.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni or MS or MSD or Mahi has metamorphosed from a flamboyant young man into a matured, smart leader. This metamorphosis itself is very interesting. I do remember first time when MS was interviewed on TV, after he was selected to play for India, some 9 years back. I saw this care free, flamboyant dude with hairdo like a rock star talk about his selection. Looking at his persona anybody would get an impression of a carefree, prodigal man who loves all good things in life. A person who is a show off. My feeling was no different. I thought he will come and go. I had a reason for this feeling. In past some of the players who led a flamboyant life were caught in the match fixing scandal and were banned for life. But MS was way different than others.

Early in his career he was noticed more for his hairdo than his cricketing prowess, but that changed when he scored his first ODI century against Pakistan a score of 148 which was followed by a knock of 183. That was a turning point in his career I think. He had announced his arrival on the cricketing scene with these two big knocks and there was no looking back since then. His day of reckoning came when he was handed over the reins of the Indian T-20 team for the world cup. With the stalwarts like Dravid, Tendulkar opting out of this tournament, proved to be a blessing in disguise for MSD, who passed the test with flying colors, bringing home the maiden T-20 world cup. This was a big achievement for a novice captain like MSD and it paved way for him to wear the thorny "Tiara", of captain of the national team in other formats as well; and how beautifully he has embellished this thorny crown of his, with jewels in the form of win after win, be it T-20 world cup or the ODI world cup, champions trophy, number one test team, beating the Aussies in their own back yard and the list goes on. He is rated as the most successful Indian captain ever. In recent times no one comes close to his achievements. What surprises me is his exponential growth as a player, as a captain, and his achievements. They are mind boggling, and one needs to have immense talent, persistence and hunger to get there, and not to forget the guiding hands from the heavens. It wont be a misnomer if he is called the king with a Midas touch.

All these years shouldering the burdens of a professional cricketer and being the captain of the Indian team has matured him immensely and helps him excel and stay grounded. Gone are those days of boisterous celebrations after picking up a wicket or after winning a tough match. You would see a phlegmatic Dhoni who very rarely displays his emotions on and off the field. His ability to stay calm and composed in the most difficult situations has baffled one and all; earning him name, “Captain Cool”. No one knows what goes into that head and how he manages to stay so nonchalant in difficult situations, when other mortals might pull their hair, chew their nails or even hurl expletives at the opponents, but that’s not Dhoni. He is unruffled by the surrounding mayhem, and that augurs well for the team. A calm leader is likely to take correct decisions than one who presses the panic button at every given opportunity. Seldom you would see he losing his cool and getting cranky, in spite of simmering tensions inside, his calm exterior is a boon to the team. After India won the 2011 ODI world cup, there were even talks of studying his brain to understand how he manages burgeoning tensions and not lose his cool. That’s MSD, a rare breed of captain.

The greatness of this individual augments with his humbleness, seldom you would see him getting embroiled in any sorts of controversies. At times his restraint from answering questions to the controversies surrounding the team, irritates the media, but he prefers his performance to do the talking. More than 8000 ODI runs, wins in all the major cricketing tournaments speaks volumes of his caliber and talent. He has achieved almost everything a professional cricketer can think of in a short span of 9 years. After Tendulkar’s retirement, I think he is the talisman of the team on whom the team can rely completely, and one who brings in calmness and solidity to the team. Undoubtedly he is the poster boy of Indian cricket, with greatness comes responsibility, and he is one, who conducts himself impeccably on and off the field. Success being his close ally for long now, he is still very grounded. To me he is an Enigma for sure, but who cares if he keeps bringing glory to Indian cricket.

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