It was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team was handicapped with a proper Wicket Keeper-Batsman. After the repeated failures of Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthick, Mahendra Singh Dhoni busted his way into the International Cricket scene with a brutal 148 off 123 balls against Pakistan in Vishakapatinam. By then, many considered him as a one-time wonder, much like Dinesh Mongia. His technique was not great and it came under several criticisms from various quarters for not reading the situation of the game and throwing his wickets away.
The turning point in his career came against Sri Lanka in Jaipur where he scored a match winning innings of 183. Since then there was no turning back for Dhoni. Soon he made his test debut. Even though his strike rate was over run a ball, his consistency was not upto the mark. He had a poor 2007 World Cup where he scored just 29 in three matches. Some eyebrows were raised over his inclusion in the team. He had a pretty decent tour of England where he saved a test for India.
It was when the inaugural ICC World T20 was staged and the seniors of the team pulled out of the Indian team leaving the selectors to pick a new captain for the team. It was expected that either Yuvraj Singh or Virender Sehwag will be given the role of captainship but to everyone’s surprise, MS Dhoni was named the skipper of the India in the 2007 World T20. He took the responsibility and mastered his troops well. He believed in his own instincts unlike many other captains. He took India all the way to victory in the tournament and was handed the ODI captainship soon.
It was when Dhoni transformed himself from an aggressive hitter to a calm and composed batsman who plays according to the team. He led his side to the CB series victory in Australia and that led to a beginning to a new era in Indian Cricket. He took the team to several highs and when he was handed the test captaincy, he took them to the helm among all the Test playing nations. From being an slogger, Dhoni changed his role effectively as he floated himself in the batting order and started to bat sensibly. As the days went on, he mastered the role of finishing the innings.
He maintained his cool during the pressure situations and kept the things simple. He started to finish the matches on his own. He won India the 2011 World Cup with his finishing skill. In the high pressure Finals, he moved up the order ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh and took his side home with ease. He has knack of taking the chases to final over and finishing off the innings with ease. He has done that quite a few in the past. The secret behind his finishing skills is his calm and composed nature. His mantra during chases is simple: “Take the Chase to the Final Over and Leave the rest to Dhoni himself”.