Dhoni - A lone Warrior

Posted January 06 2017

Belonging to the state of Bihar, I may have a natural likeness for Dhoni. It is because I feel understand his decisions, his character. Even though I may be biased for my likeness towards him, I am going to try to look at things from a neutral prospective and by setting my emotions aside. I think coming into Indian team was a lucky break from him. India had never had a wicketkeeper who could bat. The last good keeper for India Nayan Mongia after playing 140 ODI had an average of 20 with a top score of 69 and even though Rahul Dravid was a good wicket keeper, the Indian team were looking for a more permanent solution. So, when Ganguly was given an option to choose between Ojha, Karthik and Dhoni , Ganguly trusting his instinct and his risk taking ability went with Dhoni. I think his decision was little risky because Ojha and Karthik were more safer option. They would not be exceptional but they were technically better than Dhoni. Dhoni was either going to be a disaster or a blockbuster with his limited shot selection and technical abilities. Dada’s aggressive nature and risk taking abilities made him to go with Dhoni.

              When Dhoni started his career in the Indian team, I can’t imagine how he would have felt. I can guess he just would have wanted to play good and settle himself down into the team. Dhoni batting style has always been to stick to the basics and concentrate on his strength of power. With his good performances, he was able to secure and make his position permanent in the team. So, when the Indian team was going through a transitional period after a poor performance in World cup 2007, the only players who were secure were Sachin Tendulkar , Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni. Sachin has a bad experience with captaincy and Yuvraj Singh with his flamboyant nature and rule breaking tendency may not have been suites for the captain’s position. Meanwhile Dhoni, with his humble background was in good books of everyone from selectors, to fans and to the Indian team members and coach. According to me , this would have been the factors for choosing M.S Dhoni as a captain. I feel Dhoni would have never expected this and he would have been overwhelmed with such a big responsibility and that is why he takes his job so seriously. I think this would have been the foundation of the Dhoni’s style of captaincy. I believe Dhoni’s captaincy also has a bit of influence from Australia style of playing cricket. During the decade when Australia ruled world cricket, they had exceptional fielders, batsman and bowler. They were also very visionary with their team selection by selecting a right balance of players for current tournament and future events like world cup. So, I feel Dhoni would have expressed his opinion to the selectors that the trio were not going to be a part of the team in the next world cup because of their fitness and age factor. I feel there is a bad vibe between the senior players and Dhoni.  Dhoni made his decisions by keeping his emotions aside which may have been good for the team but created a lonely path for himself. So, may be the team members have always admired him but never became friends with him. I am not sure if this is the best kind of leadership but it was better than the rest could offer. Whatever his leadership style was it had worked for India for most of the time (I hint a bit of personal emotions here). The thing which I don’t understand is when people say Dhoni played politics with this player. I don’t understand any other motive rather than in his opinion for choosing the best team for the India. Maybe he made the right decision or maybe he did not but he was just fulfilling his duty as a captain. As a captain, he was allowed to express his opinion so if people would say he made the wrong decision I could argue or agree but when people say he was playing politics, they are trying portray him like he was doing it for selfish reasons and he has some personal motives. He was already the captain what else could he have wanted!

              One of the remarkable moments in his career had been to promote himself in order in the 2011 ODI world cup final. It was a very brave of him to take such decision when he was not performing well through the world cup. He took the responsibility as a captain to promote himself and contribute to the team’s winning cause. If he had failed , he would hard criticism and even might have to  lose the captaincy. When I praise Dhoni I do not intend to give him the sole credit for teams winning the world cup. The team would not have won the world cup without Yuvraj’s excellent performance in both batting and bowling. Other important contribution made by Raina, Tendulkar, Zaheer khan, Harbhajan Singh led to match winning performances. So as a true Dhoni Fan, I just want to thank him for his selfless and hard decisions he had to make as a captain for the country.