Mid 90s, crowded streets of a small town, a maidaan (not even a playground), a boy with his dreams and determination, were the ingredients for making of an unbelievable story: Story of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Destiny’s favorite child.
His story is not just his own, it is the story that every small town boy dreams of, a dream to conquer the world and Dhoni made that dream a reality. He is our hero, he is our inspiration.
It seems like yesterday when I saw him first playing for Bihar and then subsequently when making a debut for India. Expectations from him were very high, his success was attached to the future of many small town boys who dreamt of doing the same in other fields and he didn’t disappoint us. He made his name and inspired millions of small town boys like me. He made us believe that we can be world-beaters too.
He led by example, which was seldom seen in Indian cricket. He didn’t drag his Test cricket career like a few of our Indian greats did. He didn’t create any fuss, neither he bid adieu to millions of his fans. He just walked away respectfully which was never done in Indian cricket since the time I started watching cricket. That’s typical Dhoni; no one else in Indian cricket can have guts to do so.
Still, I find some people spewing venom against him. I can’t feel anything but sheer disgust for such people. They say Dhoni is not an attacking captain in test cricket. I just wonder how much test cricket these experts have really seen. Haven’t they seen Dhoni attacking opposition when he captains in ODIs or Test Matches in India. He is forced to be defensive overseas because he doesn’t have enough resources for those conditions. Its laughable that a man who gave us best moments of our life by winning two World Cups, a Champions Trophy and made India number one Test side, could be questioned for his captaincy skills.
Most of the players that India feel proud of are finds of Dhoni, he backed them when everyone else was questioning their place in team. If Dhoni didn’t back his players, we wouldn’t have seen Kohli, Murli Vijay or Rahane and wouldn’t have the opportunity to marvel on their batting skills. But today is not the day to analyze all this. It would be done when Dhoni would finally hang his boots.
His contribution to Indian Test cricket is immense. Playing 90 Test matches for India, most dismissals as a wicketkeeper for India, most runs as a wicketkeeper-batsman for India, most Test wins as a Captain of India- it’s a phenomenal record that Dhoni can be very proud of. And for smart theorist who says that Dhoni didn’t like Test cricket, nobody plays 90 Test matches and score almost 5000 Test runs without liking it, so stop this nonsense argument.
He remained a selfless team man till the last day of his Test career and going by Indian psyche he could have carried on playing to complete his 5000 test runs, could have played 10 more Test and would have entered into exclusive club of 100 Test playing greats of game but unlike others he seldom looked for personal landmarks.
He just took off with his Helicopter, which mesmerizes us. Hope he doesn’t do the same in ODIs because millions of fans would want to say thanks to Dhoni for giving us most memorable moments of our lives, small town boys like me would like to also thank him for sowing seeds of belief in us that one day we can also become world champions in our field. Don’t vanish form ODIs like you did in Test cricket even if you don’t want a great send-off. You can’t rob us of our chance to say Thank You Captain Cool but secretly I would be wishing that you would never retire and keep winning trophies for India and make us proud like you always do.
Thank You MSD
You are my hero
This article has also been published at TheNewsMinute here