MS Dhoni has had the utmost success as the captain of the Indian cricket team. Leading the men in blue in successful 2011 WC campaign in India and in 2007 t20 WC in South Africa. Apart from this he even has a ICC Champions Trophy in his trophy cabinet. Getting the team to no.1 in tests in 2010 to winning 3 IPL trophies and 2 Champions League t20 with the Chennai Super Kings.
These are just a few of many achievement of this small town man from Ranchi. MS Dhoni’s arrival in the Indian cricket scene and his unprecedented success is the image of the new team that he created in 10 years of captaincy.
Dhoni got himself recognized in the international scene in the India vs Pakistan ODI series scoring 148 with an array of unconventional shots wielding the bat like a battle ax. Later that year he went on to blast a tremendous 183 vs the Lankan counterparts in an innings which even shadowed hard hitters like Virender Sehwag. His cool minded and never panic approach landed him the role of the captain of the Indian team in the inaugural season of ICC World T20 in 2007.The real challenge for him as the captain was leading an almost amateur team with most of the experienced players opting out of the tournament.
As a leader his most appreciated habits are to take responsibility for bad performances of the team. In 2011, eight back-to-back test losses in England and Australia landed him a lot of criticism. To add fuel to fire the 1-2 thrashing by England at home almost saw his captaincy career end. But he came back like a champion to whitewash Australia in a 4-match test series. He was in his supreme form scoring 224 in the first match at Chennai against a hostile Australian pace attack earning him back the respect he had lost in the past couple of years.
The hallmark of his career has been the decisions taken by him in the critical situations and not succumbing to the situation. Be it giving the final over of the ICC T20 final to a part-timer Joginder Sharma or coming out to bat ahead of an in-form Yuvraj Singh in the 2011 WC final. He turned Rohit Sharma’s career almost upside down asking him to open in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. Since then Rohit has been a regular opener for India scoring over 3000 runs in just 68 innings.
Dhoni led the Indian team in 2014 T20WC to the finals where they lost to Sri Lanka in a highly thrilling match. India kept up their good performances in the 2015 WC where they won 7 matches consecutively. They lost to the eventual winners Australia, in the semi-finals.
After the third test match against Australia in the 2014 series, the charismatic finisher decided to hang up his boots in the longest format of the game handing over the reigns to Virat Kohli. He cited exhaustion from over workload as the main reason for this abrupt decision.
With more time and less workload on him, he now focused exclusively on limited overs formats.He decided to step down as captain of the Indian team in January, 2017 to play as full time player in the team. under Virat Kohli he smashed a cool-headed hundred in partnership with Yuvraj Singh to rescue the Indian team from 25-3 to reach 381-7 at the end of 50 overs.
What lies ahead for him is quiet clear. With his work cut-out, being only the wicket-keeper batsman, he can focus more on his game than his captaincy.