Fantasy Cricket is a funny game as they say. Many come, many go but there are very few who stay in the minds and hearts of sports lovers. Very few can become legends, very few can remain unforgettable, many can begin but very few can ‘finish it off in style’. July 7, 1981, witnessed the birth of a future Indian cricketing legend in Ranchi who would turn out to be the best Captain the world would ever see. Winner of all ICC trophies and someone who put India on the world map as far as achievements were concerned.
From being an ace batsman to the best wicketkeeper in the modern era of cricket, here are 7 reasons why you can never replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the world of cricket:
100% Game Awareness
This trait of MSD was very much evident even before he became Captain of the Indian Cricket team. In the 3rd match against England in the 2005-06 ODI series, the 48th over saw something unthinkable. Anderson rapped Dhoni on the pads down the leg side and the ball rolled to the wicket-keeper. Dhoni & Raina ran anyway and scored a single. The keeper had thrown the ball to the stumps and the bails were off but Dhoni saw the opportunity and started running pushing Raina for the double. In the end, Dhoni was well inside the crease even though the keeper Geraint Jones ran towards the stumps to get the wickets off the ground. That is what you call 100% game awareness.
Puts Team Ahead of Personal Achievements
In the 2016 ODI against Australia, when Manish Pandey was going great guns chasing a target of 330, Dhoni was also in sublime form. He made 34 off 42 deliveries helping Pandey pick the momentum required to win the game before he lofted a Mitchell Marsh delivery high in the air and before it was caught under Warner’s throat he pushed Manish Pandey to keep running so that he gets to keep the strike. Another selfless act was when MS Dhoni handed Dada captaincy before he retired from international cricket in his last game. In a match against South Africa in the T20 World Cup semi-final 2016, India required 1 run to win and Dhoni was on strike and guess what he did? He ducked the ball giving strike to Virat Kohli in the next over who had played so well and offered him to score the winning runs.
Calm & Composed All the Time
In the most tense situations, whether it is the Indian Cricket team or the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, MS Dhoni has always been calm and composed in the most nail-biting situations. Whether it was the T20 World Cup final in 2007, where he kept his nerve and gave Joginder Sharma the last over to help India win or the ICC Champions Trophy final in 2013 where he took the game away from England by handing the ball to Ishant Sharma in the 18th over who took 2 scalps to eventually finish the game, Dhoni always believes in following the process and keep his mindset cool to give him the thinking space of what needs to be done in the most critical situations of a match.
Captain Cool Captain Champion
The only Captain in world cricket to have won the ICC T20 World Cup, the 50-over World Cup, and the ICC Champions Trophy is none other than our very own Thala MS Dhoni. In all the 3 world series, his domination throughout the tournament as Captain was very much evident. India lost only 1 match each in the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World Cup while they were invincible in the 2013 Champions trophy. MS Dhoni has become a subject of interest for the IIM students to analyze his brainpower and how he takes such critical management decisions at the peak hours of the match.
Lighting Fast Wicket Keeper
Whenever there’s a batsman in front of MSD being behind the stumps, he is very wary of stepping out to the spinner. This is only because MS Dhoni holds the world record of the fastest stumping in less than 0.08 seconds in a match against Australia in 2016 where he stumped out George Bailey on the bowling off Ravindra Jadeja. Who can forget that epic run-out affected by MS Dhoni against Bangladesh in the league match of T20 World Cup 2016 where he ran faster than Usain Bolt with pads on to seal the deal for India in the final ball of the match.
Dhoni Review System
“When Dhoni takes a referral, it’s usually out.”, says Indian batting legend Rahul Dravid because that is what the world has seen. “After a denied lbw shout, I always look at MS and if he says to take a referral I do not ever think twice.”, says Indian Captain Virat Kohli. Dhoni has made the DRS his own by taking revolutionary DRS reviews at the most turning point moments of the game. So much so, that the commentators have coined DRS as the Dhoni Review System than the Decision Review System.
Best Finisher of all Times
MS Dhoni has finished more games successfully than any other batsman in the world. Even the likes of Michael Bevan and Lance Klusener have not had so much success as MS Dhoni. Be it the India vs Australia ODI match where he hit a 112m six to Clint Mccay, the 2 sixes and a four in the last over to Sri Lankan fast bowler Eranga at Port of Spain, the iconic World Cup six or his romance with Pakistan in the 2006-07 ODI series, MS Dhoni has always been the best finisher India can depend on at all times.
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