The Inscrutable Epitome Of Calmness And Leadership: MS Dhoni
Mohit Kumar Sahu | Aug 31, 2020
What made you play CRICKET? Some would say seeing Sachin Tendulkar bat, some would tell their friends in the neighbourhood, but a majority of us started playing with India winning the 2011 ICC World cup with that legendary finish from the Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the famous words of Ravi Shastri still ringing as he said,
Dhoni finishes it off in style, a magnificent strike into the crowd, India lift the World Cup after 28 years, the party starts in the dressing room, and it is an Indian captain who has been absolutely magnificent on the night of the finals.
I bet most of the cricket fans know the strive and story of Dhoni through the movie, “MS Dhoni: The untold story”. Hailing from a very small town of Ranchi, Dhoni dared to dream and with courage and guts made the dream a reality. From a very young age, he idolized the God of Cricket- Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan. He started his career as a Ticket Collector in Indian Railways. His hard work and never-give-up spirit finally landed him in International Cricket in 2004. It was under his leadership that India lifted the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 after having led India to triumph in the ICC World T20 in its maiden edition of the tournament held in 2007 in South Africa. With India winning the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 in England, Dhoni became the first and is still the only captain till date to have won all three ICC Trophies.
While his heroics in the limited-overs formats are well documented, it was also under his leadership that India became the No. 1 Test side in 2009 and the team stayed at the top for over 600 days. He has led India to victory in 21 home Test matches, the most by an Indian captain. Leaving behind a rich legacy that will be difficult to replicate, Dhoni holds the record for most international matches as captain (332). Unarguably the quickest man behind the wicket, Dhoni has 195 international stumpings, the most by any wicket-keeper.
Apart from everything else, Dhoni is an inspiration, a role model for many youths not only as a sportsperson but as one of the most impactful people with Serene calmness and Godlike fearlessness. The major things for us to learn from him are :
Maintaining the Calm: The Captain cool is famous for being composed and inscrutable, even in the most pressurizing situations. And according to Dhoni, the secret of maintaining his cool is Being prepared. Whether you are a student or a pro athlete, you have to get into the zone. The zone is a state of performing with zero friction. Practice and preparation will always help you perfect your skills and get you in the zone. If your skills go up, stress goes down.
Quick in making decisions: Decision making is one of the most critical skill set required as a leader. As Dhoni mentions, the best way is to do a lot of research the check the possible outcomes. The more you pay attention to the outcome of trusting your intuition in combination with studied facts, the better your decision-making.
Taking the criticism positively: When India lost the 2007 ODI world cup, there was a lot of heat against Dhoni with stones being pelted on his Ranchi house. But, rather than sitting and cribbing about it, he decided to channelize the aggression to become a better cricketer and a better human being. He often humorously and tactically answers the criticizing question from the journalists.
Extremely fearless: He always had a Plan B ready in his mind. Continuously thinking and working towards it. But he never fears to take a bold step, come what may. Undaunted as he is, he will never let anything stop him from treading on a difficult path. Going for those huge sixes on many occasions, without fearing that it might cost him his wicket.
Daring to dream: Making the dreams possible coming over all the struggles is a big inspiration for every youngster to learn. Making dreams is possible when you give in everything for it.
Fitness: Making the Indian team, from the best bowling and batting lineup to best fielders, Dhoni always focused on fitness. Even at the age of 39, he is still considered as one of the fastest runners between the wickets.
Taking responsibility during the defeat, Sharing credit during wins: After winning a Tournament, Dhoni always hands over the trophy to the youngest member of the team. But, when it comes to losing, we can see him blaming himself for the wrong decisions made. He always supports his teammates bringing out the best in them.
MS Dhoni is one most influential and charismatic person, from practising shooting in his backyard, aiming to be in the army to being a legendary name in the history of cricket, he has come a long way. Not only humbleness but maintaining a balance in life, there are a lot of lessons from his life. Retiring from international cricket along with his best friend Suresh Raina affectionately called the “Jai and Veeru” duo, both the cricketers leave their names embedded on the 22 yards in the field of international crickets.
In the end, no matter how much achievements a future cricketer makes he will be unmatched to Dhoni as he leaves irreplaceable. As Harsh Bhogle said,
What Dhoni achieved though, goes way beyond the numbers he produced. He told young Indians in small towns that they could conquer the world. To them he was the beacon, he was the dream that maybe they could achieve too. He showed the way. It is a substantial, and wonderful, thing in life to do. When he finishes there, I don’t think we will know too much more about him though.
Though retired, Dhoni still stands tall amidst his contemporaries and inspires generations to come.
Take a bow, Mahi!!!