When it comes to cricket then there are a number of players that we can validate as legends. But there are only a few captains that have proven themselves as the best in the whole world. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a name that definitely shines in the list of such legends.
Have you wondered why a captain is important in Cricket? Because it is one of the biggest responsibilities that a person can ever handle in his/her life. We have always said that cricket is a competitive game and it requires a combination of the best eleven to beat the other best eleven in a cricket match. However, when the best eleven are put together in the same room then it becomes someone’s responsibility to handle them carefully otherwise it can turn into chaos. And that’s the captain’s role in cricket.
A cricket team captain encourages, confronts, empathizes with his players. Experts suggest a successful captain is a good listener, receptive to new ideas from other team members, and still able to remain firm when a situation seems to slip from his grip. Now we don’t have to mention along with all these responsibilities he still needs to contribute with his cricketing skills whether he is a batsman or a bowler.
You might be wondering why we are talking about all this although the heading says differently. Well, the reason is, that all that Mahendra Singh Dhoni has gone through as the captain of the Indian cricket team and still was able to win three major international trophies including 2 World Cups.
The former international captain of Indian cricket is one of the most recognizable names in the cricketing fraternity because of his immense success as a captain. Also considered as the captain cool, MS Dhoni has been one of the finest players we have ever seen to play cricket. His dashing style and finishing role are still a nightmare for many bowlers to date. We do not even want to start with his amazing spider-man-like abilities behind the stumps. Now that he’s retired from international cricket we thought of taking you through Dhoni’s captaincy journey and learning what makes him the best captain in the world.
How did it all start?
It all started with India’s exit from the 2007 World Cup under Rahul Dravid‘s leadership. The whole of India and BCCI were in shock and looking for someone new to handle the role. When the legendary Sachin Tendulkar turned down the role of the Indian captaincy for the second time, he suggested an unusual name in the meeting. He quoted, ‘We have one more player in the country who could lead the side and his name is none other than MS Dhoni.’ If God asks you to do something then you do it. After that BCCI‘s then-president Sharad Pawar appointed Dhoni as the Indian captain for the limited side format. And we all knew how it turned out.
Rise as a Captain
If we talk about his limited over records then he has captained India in 199 ODI in which he was able to win 110 with a 55.28 winning percentage.
He also captained India in 72 T20s out of which he won 41 and ended with a 56.94 winning percentage. Not only this, but Dhoni also holds a unique record of being the only captain who has captained his country to 50 or more international matches in each format of the game.
2007 World Cup
As soon as he became the captain his impact on the Indian cricket team can be seen. When he decided to go with a young and inexperienced team for the inaugural T20 world cup tells how daring he was as the captain of the Indian cricket team. India won its first major international trophy after the 1983 WC under Dhoni’s captaincy when he won the 2007 T20 World Cup. But it was just the start of his career as the captain.
2011 World Cup
He moved ahead with grace and confidence as he started eyeing the 2011 World Cup. Dhoni, known for his perfect team combination and decisions in the most difficult situations made sure India came out as winners in the end. His decisions were impeccable as we all witnessed one of the most important innings of his life in the finals of the 2011 World Cup. That World Cup final six, in the end, will stick in every Indian cricket fan’s mind forever.
Fun Fact – MS Dhoni has also been named as the captain of the ICC World Test XI 2009, 2010, and 2013. He has been also selected as the captain of ICC world ODI XI five times.
2013 Champions Trophy
One of the major trophies that I personally consider as my favorite is the Champions Trophy that India won in 2013 under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.
We all remembered how he turned a lost match into one of the best history lessons in cricket. His decision to bring in Ishant Sharma who bagged two crucial wickets in an over and bring India back in the game is still considered as one of the boldest and master decisions that he had ever made as to the captain. After winning the 2013 Champions Trophy, Dhoni became the first and only captain in international cricket to claim all ICC trophies.
Dhoni captained India in six finals of the limited-overs tournament, which involved the participation of five or more teams, and India has won in four of them, which is a joint record held by Dhoni alongside Imran Khan from Pakistan.
Dhoni got his chance as the test captain when Kumble was injured and no one was available to take the mantle. Team India played 60 matches under the captaincy of Dhoni between 2008-2014. The team India won 27 test matches while losing 18 matches with 15 matches ending in a draw. The winning percentage of the Indian team under MS Dhoni’s captaincy is 45% with a loss percentage of 30% and a W/L ratio of 1.5. The numbers may not be amazing but he still manages to make some amazing records in test format as well:
- Took team India to Rank 1 in the test rankings for the fist time in 2009.
- From his test debut as the test captain, Dhoni still holds the record for the longest unbeaten run with 8 wins and 3 draws, surpassing the former Australian captain Warwick Armstrong who had straight 10 matches without a loss.
- Dhoni has the greater number of Test wins as a captain with 27 wins, surpassing Sourav Ganguly’s best of 21 wins.
- Dhoni is also the first Indian wicketkeeper who has made more than 4000 runs in the longer format of the game.
Top Feat Dhoni Achieved as a Captain
1. Only captain to win three major ICC trophies – MS Dhoni has won it all including T20 World Cup, ICC Cricket World Cup, and ICC Champions Trophy.
2. Most International Matches as the Captain – The former skipper has led team India in 331 International matches which is the most by any captain.
3. Most T20 Win as a Captain – Dhoni has also set an unmatchable record of the moment of most number of wins as a captain in the T20 format. As team India was able to win 41 matches out of 72 he led in.
4. Most Overseas Matches Win as a Captain – In One day format, the team India has won the most number of ODI matches overseas.
5. Only Captain to Whitewash Team Australia in Australia – In the year 2016, India became the first team to win all the T20 matches against the mighty Aussies in Australia.
There are no words that define what Mahendra Singh Dhoni has done for team India from time to time. He was one of the best that we saw in our life and you must be grateful for all he brought to Indian cricket with his amazing ability to understand the situation and be cool in every scenario. Apart from being a great captain, he was also an impeccable batsman and a wicket-keeper. His six-hitting capabilities and fast stumping methods are not hidden from the world as we all knew he can still change the course of the innings. We hope you liked this article on Dhoni’s captaincy. Until Next Time, Goodbye!