Mahi or MS Dhoni as we all know him is the current superstar of Indian Cricket. His brave and innovative captaincy has brought him accolades as well as numerous trophies. ICC World T20, One-day series down under, Asia Cup and ICC Test Rankings 1 for India have all come under his leadership. Even the Chennai outfit:  the Chennai Super Kings broke the jinx of the first edition and were crowned the champions this year. Is Dhoni lucky or are things finally falling into place for the great India Tamasha that is Cricket.
Coming from the same school as MS Dhoni, I had the good fortune of seeing the prodigy unfold in the boondocks of Ranchi. I fondly remember him hitting the then Indian players Prasad and Sunil Joshi, out of the park in a Ranji match. The nonchalance in his stroke play comes from the fact that he is naturally a very cool and composed kind of a person. Even after a hard match, his effervescent smile would eventually rub onto you.
After 2000, there was a crisis of sorts when it came to wicket keepers in the Indian team. Nayan Mongia was not getting any younger or fitter and the bench strength that was tested was not really up to the mark. It was during these tumultuous times, that Dhoni sensed an opportunity and started working on his batting as well as his keeping skills. The rest as they say is history.
Dhoni took to captaincy after the World cup disappointment as a fish takes to water. His bold moves and innovative techniques caught the eye of decision makers and a rightful heir to Ganguly’s legacy had been found. The team has achieved so much under his captaincy that it is hard to fathom that he had never captained a side in his formative years. The presence of the golden generation of Indian players and someone called Sachin Tendulkar also came in handy.
So is Dhoni lucky? Hard to say – or even if he is, then let him make hay while the sun shines. It’s true that some of his craziest moves have come good in crunch situations but we must also consider that a lot of planning and preparation goes into a match and being a captain Dhoni does his job completely.
Outside the park, he has been on a roll too. Dhoni has recently signed a 200 Cr. sponsor deal that makes him India’s biggest sportsperson by commercial deals, surpassing the great Sachin Tendulkar. Not a surprise given that coming from a small town as Ranchi, Dhoni is the ultimate epitome of success for the burgeoning middle class in India. Though he has achieved so much in a short span of time, his roots are still intact and his small town boy image has been lapped up by the advertising industry. With ads like Aircel, Pepsi, Orient PSPO, TVS, Big Bazaar etc, in his bag, the industry is cashing on Dhoni’s clean and the boy next door image.
Dhoni is now married, and we all hope that his lady luck rubs off on Indian Cricket too. World Cup 2011 beckons the poster boy of India. Winning the Mahi Way!
Ravish Prabhakar