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Mahendra Singh Dhoni: The Man, The Leader, The Legend

India’s cricket squad has evolved over the years rising in it’s excellence in giving some of the greatest players to the world and becoming the most influential sport bordering on passion and patriotism for we, Indians.

Even as Sachin Tendulkar’s leadership diversified the capabilities of the Indian Cricket Team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaining has reformed and revamped the ultimate face of the Indian Cricket Team leading India to iconic victories sure to go down in it’s history.

The arrival of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian Cricket Team and his subsequent rise from the humble roots to superstardom is an allegory of sheer hard work and unprecedented success, pioneering the arc of India’s transformation in the world of cricket.

MS Dhoni’s announcement of retirement from International Cricket has left his fans and colleagues in a state of implausible despair, leaving a great void not to be contained anytime soon.

Reminiscing MS Dhoni’s achievement and memories, we take you down the lane to his life, exemplary in success and fame and encouraging in dismal and defeat.

INDIA’S HUNT FOR THE BEST CEASED 

India has had quite an impressive stock of good wicket keeping players but with their retirements filling their shoes became a great task, India’s long hunt for a skilful wicket-keeper came to an end with MS Dhoni’s arrival who also emerged as a compelling batsman.

Dhoni held his ground strong and went onto establish himself on the international turf with an impressive display of crude agricultural shots and a bat that he wielded effortlessly like an axe.

THE DONNING OF CAPTAIN COOL

Dhoni’s composed demeanour made him unique from the rest, his calculated risks and his growing stature with his calm charm led to his appointment as the Captain for the Indian Cricket Team for the inaugural T20 WC 2007,
MS Dhoni’s profound performance, tranquil leadership drove India to victory, conferring on him the title of “Captain Cool”.

After an imposing win in the inaugural T20 WC 2007, Dhoni bagged onto be the ODI captain after Rahul Dravid renounced the post, He then eventually, ascended to be named as the full-time Test captain after the retirement of Anil Kumble.

THE ESTEEM TRAIL OF HONOURS

Dhoni has conquered numerous captaincy records and titles to his name, Dhoni went on to arguably be the best captain inheriting the natural attributes of an excellent leader by winning all three major ICC trophies – ICC T20 World Cup (2007), ICC ODI World Cup (2011) and the Champions Trophy in 2013.

Dhoni brought an end to India’s 28-year long hopeful and agonising wait, when he brought home the long yearned glory, India’s second world crown, by scripting a historic win in leading India to the World Cup in 2011.

Dhoni’s captaincy became an undoubted boon for India, He captained India in 332 matches across formats and is on the second spot in the list of most international games captained by a player.

Proving his mettle in the world of cricket, MS Dhoni records to possess:

# Most wins by an Indian captain in Tests and ODIs.
# Most back-to-back wins by an Indian captain in ODIs.
# Most runs by an Indian captain in ODIs.
# Most wins as captain in IPL.
# Most sixes as a captain in ODIs.
# Highest Individual Score as a wicket-keeper batsman in ODIs.
# Most Stumpings in International Cricket.
# And the Only Player to win the World Cup with a Six.

Dhoni’s leadership saw occasional blips in his batting style, his contrasts became India’s fascination, his sweeping wins and his resilient and radiating leadership tactics idealised him to be the talismanic cricketer of the era.

From the highs to his lows, from his victories to his defeats, Dhoni’s enduring has been praiseworthy.

Under his leading, India marched on to be the first team in more than 40 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. He captained the Chennai Super Kings to effective wins at the Indian Premier League and scored subsequent wins in the Champions League Twenty20.

Dhoni has been granted several accolades and honours for gracing India with several triumphs, from the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009, to the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007 to the Padma Shri, which is India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in 2009, Dhoni has them all to his name.

The Indian Territorial Army conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel to Dhoni on 1st November 2011. The Time magazine designated him in its annual Time 100 list as one of the “Most Influential People in the World.”

In 2012, SportsPro rated Dhoni as the 16th most marketable athlete in the world. In June 2015, Forbes ranked him at 23rd in the list of highest paid athletes in the world. And, in 2016, a biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story was made on him.

With all prestigious wins, Dhoni’s timeline then faced severe criticism, when the balance of life outweighed success and India suffered continuous losses overseas. Dhoni then in the year 2014, announced his decline from Test cricket.

On 4th January 2017, Dhoni stepped down as the captain of the Indian ODI and T20I team.

Right through his journey, Dhoni became the most influential and the most unpredictable player India could really handle, from joys to anguish, India saw it all, and with Dhoni now bringing the curtain down on his shimmering International Cricket journey, India is sure to miss this man’s explosives, his grace, his demeanour, his strikes on the field.

MS Dhoni became a phenomenon and a motivation for Young India, a boy hailing from a small-town of Ranchi, a ticket-collector by profession, went on to become the heartthrob icon looked upon by all, the man whose shoes is too large to fit and the baton too heavy to carry, India now awaits to witness one such rising star as him to lead the nation to future global glories and endeavours.

– Marilyn Ravi, NMTV News

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