Thomas Carlyle once said that the world’s history is composed of the biography of great men. In his assertions, Carlyle is of the opinion that a handful heroes’ actions play the main role in determining the course of history.
Even if many have decided to discredit his ideas, they are still valid somewhere, at least in sports, The Guardian Sport reports.
With that in mind, we can quickly jump into the life of one Great Man – MS Dhoni. In a December 2006 match, India Cricket Team was all the way across the 6000 miles from home. This is a game that opened MS Dhoni’s career as he made 44 of 49 goals against South Africa at Centurion. Despite his team losing by 9 wickets, the world had seen him and known that he is good.
But it did not take long before he began to become a victim of blame for India’s dismal performance. When Sri Lanka and Bangladesh defeated India in the West Indies World Cup, an angry mob of fans literally tore down the whole of his new house as it was still being constructed. One of the protestors was quoted by news outlets saying “It seems Dhoni is banking more on modelling than wicketkeeping and batting.” But it did not take more than a year when Dhoni would even take up more responsibility – captain of the team.
He led his team in both the ODI and T20 sides.
His selection to become the team’s captain was not by design but rather an accident. He was given the leadership because the senior players – Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid all decided not to play at the first World T20 in 2007.
While defending their decision, Dravid said that it was better for the young players to play in the tournament. T20 wasn’t much big tournament and even Niranjan Shah, Board of Control for Cricket in India’s honorary secretary, had ruled out the possibility of India playing it. “Why not Ten10 or Five5 or One1?”
The country only accepted to play in 2007, not as a collective decision but due to certain constraints. CC’s president, Ehsan Mani, issued a threat that India’s bid for the 2011 ODI World Cup was in jeopardy if the country ignored T20. So at the end of all the tough negotiations, MS Dhoni was sent.
Despite never having played in the tournament, Dhoni appeared to already know the format. He made 154 runs in his six innings, from 120 balls. However, what was more apparent was his leadership style.
When India tied with Pakistan, both sides had to select five bowlers who would attempt to hit the stumps. As you would expect, Pakistan chose the 5 men who had bowled in the India innings. But Dhoni’s decision was rather a peculiar one. He chose Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa, of whom none of them had bowled in the actual game. The two hit the stumps while Yasir Arafat and Umar Gul missed. Consequently, India was crowned victors and even carried home the T20 trophy. Right from that, Dhoni set himself apart as a player with a sixth sense for captaining.
Despite the 2007 provincial T20 tournament not being televised, over 40 million people worldwide watched the India VS Pakistan final game, giving Dhoni more exposure.
In the remaining 10 years of his life as a captain, Dhoni helped his team win the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. Winning these wasn’t anything easy as he made numerous remarkable decisions. He remembered for having taken off his gloves to help him better engineer a run-out off the last ball to beat Bangladesh in the World T20 last year. Despite the many decisions in the pitch, he also carried home countless man of the match awards. His leadership was so effective to the extent the Times Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people on the planet.
And yes indeed Dhoni is influential. He impacted the innings, games, series and more importantly – the course of the sport.