The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Naman, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Cricket is often referred to as religion in India and Greats like Sachin Tendulkar has been worshiped by many as the GOD of it. But, one guy who has managed to create a space in the same breath as Sachin Tendulkar is Mahendra Singh Dhoni. A man who comes from a very small town like Ranchi has managed to create a name which is unparallel and would be counted as the Best if not the greatest Captain to have ever played or captained the national team.
It all started here in Kharagpur where he is used to be a Ticket Collector to playing his first match vs Bangladesh in 2004. It wasn’t a great start to any career when he got out without contributing to the scorecard. After series of failure and he was almost been dropped from the National Team, but someone has rightly said: “When the situation gets tough, the tough gets going”. Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced himself to the cricketing world by playing a magnificent knock of 148 runs against the arch rival Pakistan. After that, he never looked back.
Only 3 years into international cricket he was been asked to captain the National Side for the first edition of T20 world cup and he did not disappoint. No captain in the world would have thought to give the last over to Joginder Sharma against Pakistan that too in the final of the world cup and rest was history. Few people may have called that fluke but one thing that stood out was the faith he showed and was ready to take the blame if the odds were aginast him.
Soon he was captaining the national side in all the formats. Be it Test, ODI’s and T20, Team India was becoming the force to reckon with and it was just a matter of time that they would be called as a World Champion. And finally the day arrived in 2011, Mumbai was hosting the cricket world cup final against Sri Lanka and the target was 272 which was a very tough total considering the pressure of the Finals. India did not get a good start with 31/2 and both the openers in the pavillion. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli managed to steady the ship. But soon, Virat Kohli got out and it was 114 for the loss of 3 wicket. And here was the first surprise Mahendra Singh Dhoni promted himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh even though he was not in his best form. It was a shear touch of brilliance and showed how a man can be so cool under such a tough condition. He guided the team to lift the world cup for the second time after 28 years.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not just about finishing the matches but his contibution to the Indai is un-matchable he took tough decision, managed to create a very good atmosphere in team, back the young players and was ready to be criticzed when the situation was not in there favour. This is what defines a leader!