Mahendra Singh Dhoni exhibits inexplicable resonance. Rising above 1.2 billion people and inspiring them tooth and nail with an aura of compassion, self control and creditably complete composure to any given situation makes Dhoni an indelible loss to the top most position in the Indian team.
Coming from a humble background, playing unorthodox cricket and rising up to become the captain is an unbelievable feat. In a country like India where unorthodoxy was never an excuse Dhoni rose to be an exception. In one of his earlier posts when Dhoni stepped down and henceforth retired from test cricket Harsha Bhogle wrote,”I don’t think anyone knew Mahendra Singh Dhoni. I don’t think anyone was meant to” which is relevant even today when he silently, with the same composure has given up on his captaincy. No one knew Dhoni. No one knew what his next blinder of a decision would be. Not even the ones who were playing besides him. He was a stigma whose mysteries were never unravelled. Neither will they ever be.
While I write this post BCCI has announced the ODI and T20 squads for the home series against England. To have ( c ) missing besides the name where it actually has been habitually set in the minds of a crore people feels weird. To know such a thing would never again happen feels even more weird. India never had a longer standing skipper. Even if there were skippers with equal skills as MSD had, none had the skill to lead his team to victories in all major ICC trophies with the same aura and the same level of composure.
Leave aside Indian team. The fact that Dhoni lead Chennai Super Kings to those victories in IPL and Champions Trophy literally elevates him from just another captain to “one of the best” skippers in world cricket. No, I am not being biased. Legends of the game say so.
Dhoni’s strength lies not in his batting or in the way he keeps wickets. It lies in the best possible way he utilizes the resources given to him. By the time Dhoni was given the cap of captaining Indian team most of the Indian legends had retired. Dhoni lead a team of complete inexperienced faces excepting a few. But that did not deter him from taking his team to the first ever T20 world cup victory. Dhoni must be credited for handing the ball to the inexperienced Joginder Sharma. For a moment we thought we lost the game. It was mysterious to have won that game. Yes Dhoni is a mystery.
When India woke up to a shocker of a decision from him Dhoni’s character and composure resonated yet another time. The reason was obvious. Giving way for a fresh generation Indian team to prepare and take center stage is the need of hour. But no one wanted him to step down. Not even in faintest dreams would someone want him to step down.
For once and for all we wish Dhoni plays for himself. For once and for all we wish Dhoni focuses on his rock star batting. For once and for all we wish no one puts blame on this legend for a loss. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he takes the blame for losses and credits others for victories even after stepping down. For once and for all we wish he mentors the incoming Kohli with his aura. For once and for all, we wish!