When we think of the great Indian Captains, the one name which comes in our mind is Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the image we see in our mind is MSD with his helicopter shot. Dhoni’s name remains right up there in the list of India’s most decorated captains.
In 2007, India were eliminated from the World Cup. Careers were at stake. Rahul Dravid was in the firing line for delivering India’s worst World Cup performance since 1975 and despite a historic Test series win in England, an ODI defeat there and to Australia at home followed. With the team in turmoil, Dhoni invigorated India’s hopes by doing the unthinkable – winning the first ever T20 World Cup, in South Africa.
Appointed the ODI captain ahead of the Pakistan series, Dhoni began with a bang – a 3-2 win over the arch-rivals, and set himself on a path that would change the dynamic of Indian cricket.
The road wasn’t easy. Dhoni made a bold call to pull the plug on Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly’s ODI careers, but he backed himself and the results did not disappoint him. From there, India took off – series wins in Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and the 2010 Asia Cup title, Dhoni was at the centre of it all. India won their first Test series in New Zealand in 41 years and secured a resounding double by taking the ODIs. In 2009, India reached the pinnacle of the ICC Test rankings for the first time ever, with Dhoni, once again, at its forefront.
India’s exit in the World Cup last year in the semifinal against New Zealand, he’s not been seen. Words from some quarters suggest he’s done, while some are confident of him playing the IPL, irrespective of whenever that may be. However, if at all we have seen the last of Dhoni, what a career it’s been. Probably India’s GOAT!