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Thursday, July 07, 8:30 am

Birthday Special : India is fortunate to have 'Dhoni The Captain'

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni has been one of the greatest captain Cricket has ever witnessed with wins in ICC T20 World Cup, World Cup 2011, Champions League and Back to Back Indian Premier League tournaments. The Jharkhand lad will be celebrating his birthday today while playing the final test against West Indies.

By Divye Joshi

When MS Dhoni scored a golden duck in his debut ODI against Bangladesh, who had thought that this young lad from Ranchi will not only emerge as India’s best wicket-keeper batsman but also become the most successful captain of India. 

After an embrassing exit from the 2007 World Cup, uncertain future was clouding over Indian cricket. Rahul Dravid resigned from captaincy after losing ODI series against England, following the shocking defeat in the 2007 World Cup. BCCI was keen to handle the captaincy responsibility to Sachin Tendulkar once again but Tendulkar recommended Dhoni’s name as new captain.

With the absence of Sachin, Ganguly and Dravid in Dhoni’s first captaincy assignment in 2007 T-20 World Cup, no one was ready to bet on India’s semifinal berth also but Dhoni’s young brigade have emerged as a winner in the inaugural T-20 World Cup. Dhoni’s crtics have termed T-20 World Cup win as a fluke. But T-20 World Cup win was just a beginning of India’s beautiful journey under Dhoni’s captaincy. From then on, there was no looking back. He has transformed the Indian team into an World beating one .

Dhoni's Achievements as captain: 

• Team India went on to win the inaugural T20 cricket World Cup 2007

• ODI series win against Pakistan at home after 24 years in 2007.

• First ever tri-series win in Australia in 2007-08

• First ever bilateral ODI series win in Sri Lanka (IDEA CUP) in August 2008.

• India won Border-Gavaskar Tropy by 2-0 by defeating Australia at home.

• India won ODI series by 5-0 against England and won two match Test series by 1-0 in Nov-Dec 2008.

• Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India beat Sri Lanka for the second time to clinch the IBDI Fortis Wealthsurance Cup ODI series 2009 (4-1) 

• On the India's tour of New Zealand in 2009, India have created history by winning their first ever ODI series on New Zealand soil. India also won Test series in New Zealand after 41 years under MSD’s captaincy.

•In June,2009, India have defeated West Indies, in their own backyard by 2-1 in the ODI series.

•In Sept, 2009, India won tri-series in Sri Lanka. This was India’s only third win in a tournament final during 1999-2009.

•India won ODI series by 2-1 against South Africa in Feb 2010.

•India won Asia Cup after 15 years by beating Sri Lanka in 2010 Asia Cup final.

•India whitewashed Australia in the two match Test series of Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Oct 2010. India whitewashed Australia first time in any Test series.

•Dhoni led India to ODI World Cup win after 28 years in April,2011.

•Dhoni has made Team India the No.1 Test side in the world. India has remain unbeatable in any Test series under Dhoni’s captaincy. 

•Apart from these achievements in Indian color, he led his IPL team Chennai Super Kings to IPL 3, Champions League and IPL 4 title. He is the only Indian captain, who has lifted IPL trophy

Nevertheless, Dhoni’s crticics keep terming Dhoni as a very, very lucky cricketer. Well, luck  can be a factor but it can never be a only factor. Luck can play atmost 10% role in everyone’s success but such a huge success in any field always depend on three Ds – Determination, Dedication and Discipline. According to me, Dhoni has created his own luck by following these three Ds. To point out his success mainly to luck is partly a sign of jealousy.

From giving last over to Joginder Sharma in 2007 T-20 World Cup final to famous 8-2 off side field against Australia in Nagpur Test in 2008. Either to include Praveen Kumar in the last stage of CB series or to promoted himself up the batting order in 2011 World Cup final. These are some of the bold decisions, which Dhoni has never hesitate to take to surprise the opponents. Dhoni's bowling and fielding changes have proved spot on many times. Above all, he lead his team from the front. The average of 52.52 and 44.88 as captain in ODI and Test respectively is indicating that he is the exception in Indian cricket, whose batting from has not affected under the burden of captaincy.

Dhoni turns 30 on 7th July and on the occasion of his birthday, many Indian cricket fans like me wishing him an another successful year ahead. The tough tours of England and Australia are waiting ahead for Dhoni & Co. this summer. Dhoni had said he is fortunate to have such a good team. Adding to Dhoni’s statement, I want to say Indian cricket is also fortunate to have a captain like Dhoni.

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