MSD: Top five moments as Captain
With the announcement that MS Dhoni is quitting as the captain of the limited overs Indian side, one of the sublime era of Indian cricket is coming to an end. Though the future of Indian cricket looks bright in the hands of aggressive Virat Kohli, the calmness of Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD) under pressure situations will always be missed. The era of Saurav Ganguly made the Indian side believe that they can be on the top, whereas Dhoni ingrained a winning culture in the team which helped the team to remain at the top. MSD’s illustrious career as a captain is marked by several highs. Be it the 2013 Champions trophy win or the 2007 T20 world cup win, Dhonis captaincy has always challenged the conventional. We at the SportsRush bring to you some of the highlights of Dhonis Captaincy.
2011 World Cup Victory
World Cup victory of 2011 is one of the jewels in the kitty of Mahendra Singh Dhonis captainship. Though the Indian team were the clear favorites to win the world cup in home conditions, it took Dhonis masterstrokes at key junctures to actually lift the cup.
Favored with a team that had a mix of youth and experience, Dhoni drove India to the finals where they confronted Sri Lanka – after wins over Australia in the quarter-finals and most despised adversaries Pakistan in the semis.
His decision to promote himself up the order ahead of inform Yuvraj Singh can be seen as a masterstroke which changed the outcome of the game. India won by six wickets and Dhoni was named Man of the Match. It was not only a win for India but it was a tribute to the batting legend Sachin Tendulkar by the young Indian side who idolized him.
2007 T20 WORLD CUP WIN
The inaugural season of the T20 World cup that was won under Dhonis Captaincy was an infliction point for Indian cricket. It showcased to the world that a new breed of cricketers was cropping up in India which were not shy of playing aggressive cricket. It brought about a paradigm shift in the approach of Indian side in the limited overs format. This was the first time Dhoni’s cool attitude on-the-field was recognized around the world and his on field attitude was appreciated by the world media.
However the showstopper of the 2007 world cup was the over that Joginder sharma bowled against Pakistan in the finals. In a close, nerve-wracking final, India pipped Pakistan by five runs. Joginder Sharma, given the last over by Dhoni, picked up Misbah-ul-Haq’s wicket in the last over.
ICC Champions Trophy Win 2013
After winning the champions trophy in the year 2013, Dhoni added another feather in his cap. He became the only Indian Captain to win all ICC events. What makes this win more special is that India defeated the mighty English side in their home conditions. This put to rest all the questions that were raised about the Indian Teams performance in foreign conditions. The win further strengthened the belief within the team that they could beat any opposition.
This win came at a time when Indians were in a middle of a disastrous England tour. The Indians had lost the test series badly and there were questions about the defensive tactics adopted by Dhoni. The Champion Trophy win was more of an answer to all the critiques who questioned Dhonis style of captaincy.
COMMONWEALTH BANK SERIES WIN AGAINST AUSTRALIA IN 2008
MSD was elevated in stature as the captain of the ODI team after the splendid performance of the young Indian team in the inaugural season of T20 World Cup. He did not disappoint after his elevation by winning the commonwealth Bank series against Australia.
In a tri-series Down Under in 2008, India made their way into the finals, knocking out Sri Lanka in the last four to book a meeting with a strong Australia side.
In a best of three finals, India under Dhoni won the first two games and clinched the series, thanks to Sachin Tendulkar’s brilliance, and of course Dhoni’s leadership.
Number 1 Test Ranking
Few things unite India like cricket, and on December 6, 2009, millions of Indians were united in celebration as their team ascended to the top of the ICC Test rankings. This was for the first time in history that the Indian Team had ascended to the top of the throne under Dhonis captainship.
The most important thing associated with this ascend was that the Indian team was able to retain the top position for a long time due to consistent performance of the team.
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