‘A cricketer on the field and a soldier of the field’ – A true Inspiration and a man that made a huge impact on my life.
#MahendraSinghDhoni…When he debuted in 2005, India had a formidable team full of stalwarts and legends.
Back when he debuted…
He didn’t have what you call the textbook cricket shots like say Sachin to rake in numbers or to generate as much interest as Sachin did.
He didn’t come from the riches like Ganguly or he didn’t have guts that dada had and nobody ever thought he would be a captain because not many Weeket Keepers in Indian cricket history had a noticeable career as a Captain.
He didn’t have the calmness or coolhead like Dravid/Laxman to drop down your anchor and play the game at your own pace.
He wasn’t as flamboyant as Yuvraj and didn’t really start as a guy who could finish the games with an audocious assault as Yuvi.
In a decade and half that has gone by….
He is probably the best Wicket Keeper batsman India has produced and definitely in top 3 in the world around. He made people stick to their seats and watch & believe as long as he is at the crease, and probably been the biggest commercial icon for the sport globally not just in India.
He is one of the best, if not the best captain India has ever produced. Only captain to win all three ICC trophies to go with a Test mace. On statistics alone, he is the best Indian Captain ever.
He is probably the calmest and cool headed cricketer ever to play cricket that too while carrying the expectations of 100 crore people.
He is by far the best finisher India ever had and undoubtedly one of the world’s best. A deadly mix of caution and assult.
As his career progressed….
He brought an identity to Wicket keepers in a country that was so obsessed with prime batsmanship.
He made sure India always were treated with respect and had the favourites tag going into any global tournament.
He inherited a team with full of match winners but one that was also ageing and he had to deal with an Indian media that projected bigger egos than the seniors actually had. He was graceful in a way how he treated the stalwarts and when they were gone he made sure Kohli atleast had bunch of potential match winners that he could build on.
He was accused of favouritism when he backed few players but when you look at the numbers those players have produced, they played a huge role in how successful the team has turned out to be.
His test career feels like a unfulfilled promise but again he was the best Wicket keeper batsman India ever had in the test format too so in a way that was a fulfillment of a kind.
As he walks away from this beautiful game….
His legacy cannot be repeated and it’s fair to say India would be very happy if they can find a player half good as him and who can produce half of his numbers or innings as a wicket keeper batsman.
No Cricketer in the world, I repeat no one ever had such a long and successful career fulfilling the role of Wicketkeeper, Batsman & Captain together. He was unique and he was bloody awesome at that.
Though it’s been more than an year that he played his last game for India but there was a tiny bit of optimism that he would don the blue jersey again for one last time.
The best Indian cricketer when you put together the personal numbers/milestones and team’s achievements, as a player and captain.
A career to be celebrated & Cherished….
A man to be respected & remembered….
A person and a character to be enviable of….
A phenaomenon of a kind that the world cricket has ever seen….
A true champion who made a mark of his own….
A Gentleman who played the sport in the highest spirit….
Cricket as a game doesn’t get poorer with your exit but I am afraid the vaccum that you left will forever be there!
That six to seal the WC2011, and the walk back after runout in WC2019 Semis will forever be my unforgettable memories and important moments in the history of Indian Cricket.
Your announcement brought back lot of memories and made me emotional but, I am very happy as a true cricket fan who absolutely enjoyed the full career of you and celebrated every one of your achievements in utmost euphoric way and also felt sad & devastated when the results didn’t go in our favour.
– From a guy who thought Sachin was Cricket and Cricket was Sachin.
– You changed that for me! Thank you Dhoni!!
Author : Vijay (Follow me : medium)