MS Dhoni today turned 34, arguably the best captain India has ever seen leading them in the world stage. The captain has achieved laurels to his name more than any other captain of India during his eight years long captaincy stint.
However, he lost is midas touch in recent years, both as a captain and as a batsman. His consecutive series loss to England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand in 2012/13 drew criticism for the first time in his career. Under his captaincy India lost home Test series to England after 24 years, and to add more damage to his reputation India lost ODI series to Bangladesh for the first time in the history of bilateral cricket series between the two countries.
However, once the great modern cricket critic Peter Roebuck said “People only see the success of common people and failure of greats.” This one-liner is applicable to MS Dhoni’s career so far. It is cricket; you are not playing with a dumb. When one great emerges on the cricket filed, it is just because of his shrewd brain and technique which helped him outclass his opponents. But, everybody has some weak points, even the great Sir Don Bradman was not so good on wet wicket in comparison to his record on fast wicket.
Similarly, when MS Dhoni was rising as captain, he startled cricket world with his sheer cricket intellects. The world fumbled with his decision to give Joginder Sharma, a slow blower in the final over of the inaugural t20 final in 2007.
In pressure situation, if you handover the ball to the most unlikely man, the batsman on the other hand will obviously take the strategy into account and will come under huge mental pressure, that was what happened to Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
MS Dhoni’s calm demeanor makes opposition difficult to understand him. If you have weapon to execute you decision that makes sense, but if you ploy an idea without weapon that never will be materlised.
In recent years, MS Dhoni’s decision boomeranged as most of his apparatus, who once coordinate him to be number in ICC Test ranking, were walking through the gloaming condition of their career.
But if you are captain of your team, then you have to take the responsibility. Dhoni is not superman; people are reading his actions. So, they deployed their brain to undone his decision.
Like every great cricketer, Dhoni has to go through a lean patch of his career. He is no different from them. Even the legends like Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting received same kind of treatment as Dhoni is receiving now at twilight of his career.
Keeping his failures in mind, even I say MS Dhoni is the greatest captain of India of all time. He succeeded burdening the weight of 1.2 billon people on his shoulder. Except, Dhoni nobody in this cricket world had to realize the pressure of diverse cricket fans.
There are ample reasons to regard him as the greatest captain of India.
Here I am picking five numerical reasons to find out why he is the best:
1# He has all ICC trophies including two world cup and one champions trophy to his name.
2# Under his captaincy India became numero uno in ICC Test ranking in 2008.
3# He has most Test wins -27- in 60 Tests and overall stands sixth in the list of most Test wins in the the history of cricket. In terms of win Top Five position holders are Graeme Smith, Alan Border, Stephen Fleming, Ricky Ponting and Clive Lloyd. Yes, Dhoni won most of his Test at home. Many great captains ended with no series win on foreign soil. For example, Ricky Ponting has never won the Ashes on English soil.
3# In ODI he is one of the three most successful captains in the history of cricket. Ricky Ponting tops the list and MS Dhoni is trailing by 6 win to earn the second position toppling Alan Border.
4# Nevertheless, India traditionally struggle to produce fast bowlers and quality wicketkeeper. In Dhoni, India found their all time best wicketkeeper batsman who lead India with iron fist.
5# These days cricketers do so much “talking” in the pitch. MS Dhoni took different roots. In calm and composed Dhoni cricket has seen one of the true gentlemen.
He is also delight for his teammates. He manages a Indian bowling attack, which is notoriously inconsistent. But, Dhoni always gives his bowlers right to express their state of mind on the pitch.