Cricket is neither a sport nor a game in India. For decades now, it is revered as a religion and many great players have been adorned as ‘Legends’ in the field. In the era where greats like Sachin, Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman, and Ganguly were making fans go crazy for them, a small boy from Ranchi arose to steal the limelight and become a fan-favourite. Fast forward 15 years and the entire nation is all praise about the man who is known for has won them all the possible trophies, gave them memories to cherish, and a cool mind that has taken applause-worthy decisions. No wonder his devoted fans down in South India fondly calls him, ‘Thala’ or, ‘The King’.
One can live his life as he wishes. In the case of Dhoni, he wished to be a footballer initially & worked hard for that. It was his coach who made a hard-hitting statement on him that he is born to become a cricketer. He started to play cricket on compulsion but once he found his relationship with the bat he never turned back from his career dream of being a cricketer. Dreams are never easier to get landed on, as one has to board a flight to reach the destination. Dhoni grew up excelling in his domestic level cricketing career, but there comes a point where politics in sports begins to play along with the cricket. But he played fighting knocks with his bat to get rid of those politics & get selected in the national team.
ERA OF DHONI:
Dhoni changed the so-called way of conventional batting to an enormous extent and youngsters went crazy for him. When the Indian team was looking for a high striking middle-order batsman it was Dhoni who provided the lavish treat to the Indian cricket team. His funky hairstyle was a trendsetter during the early days of Dhoni. Such was the trend and love for his hairstyle that even the Pakistan prime minister showed his interest in a post-match presentation.
India vs Sri Lanka, Oct 31, Jaipur (Sri Lanka Tour of India, 2005):
On 31st Oct 2005, Dhoni was promoted up in the batting order against Srilanka by Ganguly, after the fall of Sachin and Sehwag. Srilankans expected a slow start from Dhoni but what he did that day was an example of “believe in my ability”. He played shots all over the ground and smashed 15 fours and 10 sixes. This attacking cricket from him was something that Indian cricket has never seen. He announced himself and his new style of attacking cricket to the world on style and till date people are all talks about it.
India vs Sri Lanka, Apr 2, Mumbai (Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011):
If you are a Dhoni fan then this would be a date you would want to cherish for life. Yes, it was the day when Dhoni played a sizzling knock of 91* against Sri Lanka to lift the world cup. This was a dream for many youngsters eagerly waiting for the coveted cup to come home for years. In that match when Kohli got out, Dhoni came ahead of Yuvraj Singh and played an innings till the winning moment, he made sure India crossed the finish line. Ravi Shastri’s voice for the winning six of, ‘Dhoni Finishing of in style’ will style give goosebumps to anyone who listens to it.
India vs Australia, Feb 12, Adelaide (4th ODI, CB series, 2012):
This was a match that showed the temperament of Dhoni and his ability to stay calm. Chasing a target of 270 against the Australians in Australia is a mammoth task, and Dhoni proved that he can bat outside the subcontinent as well. With a fighting knock from Gambhir, India started to give the scares to Australia but with a few more wickets India wobbled again. Dhoni started his innings slowly and made sure there wasn’t a moment of collapse that could cost them the game. He took a safe, patient and a risk-free approach where his entire innings of 44, he hit no 4s and only one 6, that too when India needed it the most. In the last over when 13 runs were required, he made sure the Ashwin was off the strike and used all his experience to finish the match with a comfortable win. The final over between Dhoni and Clint McKay is still a popular video on YouTube.
India vs Australia, Feb 22-26 Chennai (1st Test, Australia Tour of India, 2013):
Dhoni always dreamt of proving himself in Indian conditions in test cricket, and this series provided him the perfect platform. And to top that, the match was in Chennai, the place which Dhoni refers to as home and a city with arguably the biggest fan base for MSD. Robert Pattinson, the Australian bowler swung the ball well & took initial wickets in a short span of time. Dhoni entered the ground with thundershowers of uproar from fans. He started rotating the strike and showed the intent that he has his eyes set for a big score. He continued to bat the second day too, scored a captains knock of 224 and gave India a competitive total to defend. India won the match comfortably, all thanks to Dhoni’s gethu. The Bond between Dhoni & Chennai was at a peak with this knock.
CSK VS SRH, Sep 26, Ranchi (Group Match, Champions League, 2013):
Champion’s league is a great 20-20 drama where bat dominates the ball. And in one such match between CSK & SRH Dhoni smashed a whopping score of 63 in just 19 balls to show the world his pinch hitting abilities. He took charge on Thisara Perera and smashed 5 sixes in one over with a strike rate of 200+. Dhoni’s heroics was the major reason that took CSK to the winning side as this nail biter of a match saw SRH scoring 190 and giving CSK a scare.
Dhoni is a calm, composed and a cool man on and off the field, he is always too clear with his goals & when it comes to retirement he never allows anyone to poke on his decision. He always responses to the negative comments on with his bat & innings. With his many record time stumpings, he is regarded as one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen in the world alongside the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Mark Boucher, and Kumar Sangakkara. Dhoni isn’t a player, he is a sensation that the whole world is crazy about. Which Dhoni moment is etched in your mind?