Be it the hard-fought T20 World Cup victory in 2007 or his sharp cricketing acumen, ABP Education culls out all that you can learn from the career of India’s most successful captain.
Apart from being India’s Independence Day, August 15 will also be remembered as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s day of retirement from international cricket. This is a finish everyone expected, but probably no one wanted. With the usual habit of executing extraordinary stumpings, the former Indian captain announced his retirement on Instagram despite being almost dormant on social media throughout his playing career. He will, however, lead the Chennai Super Kings in the upcoming Indian Premier League scheduled for September in Dubai.
But 16 years of international cricket is not a short span of time. There are several things a student can learn from MSD’s career. Be it the hard-fought T20 World Cup victory in 2007 or his sharp cricketing acumen, ABP Education lists all that you can learn from the career of India’s most successful captain.
1. Be clear-minded while taking career calls: According to a widely reported statistic, MS Dhoni’s success rate with the DRS was 90%. As a result of which the Decision Review System was jokingly renamed to Dhoni Review System. His quick-witted diagnosis of complex cricketing situations exalted his status as India’s most-loved captain in the shorter formats. In January 2017, when Yuvraj Singh returned to international cricket in an ODI series against England, Dhoni’s understanding of the DRS had reached PhD level. Facing Chris Woakes, Yuvraj Singh was convinced he had nicked the ball to the wicket-keeper. While the English celebrated no holds barred, Dhoni decided to spoil their party by suggesting a DRS call to Yuvraj, eventually overruling the on-field umpire’s decision.
2. Value your seniors, motivate your juniors: After India took a tumble in the 2007 World Cup following an embarrassing defeat against Bangladesh, a fledgling MS Dhoni took charge as India’s captain for the 2007 T20 World Cup. While everyone thought India’s youngsters were out to gain some high-voltage tournament experience, Dhoni had other plans. All of 26 years of age, MSD used the expertise of relatively senior players such as Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Ajit Agarkar, and molded the raw firepower of youngsters such as Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Joginder Sharma and RP Singh, to eventually win the tournament, beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final. Dhoni is also behind Virat Kohli’s greatness. Dhoni went from making Kohli a world-class batsman to handing him the baton of full-time captaincy in 2017.
3. Make the best of resources, opportunities: Sourav Ganguly once said Dhoni would have never blossomed as a batsman had he not sent him up the order in a match against Pakistan in Vizag in 2005. “You cannot make a batsman by sending them down the order,” said Ganguly. MS Dhoni was sent in at number three in that game and what happened next is history. Scoring 148, he smashed four sixes and fifteen boundaries, eventually establishing himself as a potential middle-order batsman. Over the years, he became the finisher India badly needed in the limited overs format, invoking comparisons with greats such as Australia’s Michael Bevan.
4. Don’t do anything for the sake of it: Do what your heart says, but never do it to please your contemporaries or family members. In his early days, Dhoni stuck to cricket despite the odds stacked against him. Working as a Ticket Collector with the Indian Railways, he followed his passion for the game and rose through the ranks in domestic cricket despite playing for a state which did not have the reputation of producing greats. He was always balancing between two extremes - cricket and job/academics. His sheer love for the game eventually took him where he is today. Sincerity matters.
5. Think offbeat: Don’t stick to routine solutions to overcome your academic problems. Just like MS Dhoni used the much-touted helicopter shot to tonk yorkers for a six. Or his unconventional style of running batsmen out. He did it his way, and excelled in international cricket for 16 years. Thinking out of the box certainly helps in situations when tried-and-tested tricks fail to get desired results. But that doesn’t mean shortcuts are an option.
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