Mahendra Singh Dhoni – a young, long-haired and relatively shy man from Ranchi took reigns of the Indian T20 team in 2007 and despite all odds, went to South Africa and won the inaugural ICC World T20. While it was easy to appreciate his big hitting abilities and unorthodox but effective style of wicket keeping, the world also took note of the fact that a new leader had emerged in Indian cricket. It was though a long shot to say that at that point though, that he would lead India to the number one Test ranking and to wins at the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy. The fact that was quite evident though, was that he was there to stay.
Dhoni has always been the one to let others have the spotlight whilst he took a step back after getting the job done. It was the goal of the team and of a nation that always preceded personal milestones or achievements. Another glaring factor throughout his captaincy career was that he was more concerned with ‘the process’ than ‘the result’. He often said that he believed in the process that was set than the results and this showed that he was always thinking long term. Not many would have persisted with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja or even Rohit Sharma but Dhoni gave them a prolonged run because he saw that they fit the process and would yield results in the long run.
Given the fact that he was always a team man, there was no surprise that he readily gave up Test cricket when he saw that Virat Kohli was ready to take on the mantle. Similarly, once the team had found a balance and it was clear that Kohli would be the one to lead the side to the 2019 World Cup, he decided to hand him the captaincy of the ODI and T20 teams too. Dhoni has always been his own man and has led by example be it on or off the field, and more than anything else, he has been a leader par excellence for his team. Today, a legend of Indian cricket celebrates his 36th birthday, and we at The Ring Side View wish him a very happy birthday and hope that he continues playing cricket for years to come.