Ever since Mahi announced retirement from all formats of international cricket, all we could talk about revolved around him. Today, in our Special Edition we would like to share particular stories about The legend.
We all know what an amazing cricketer Dhoni is, keeping calm, playing deep and winning India matches. But do you know why he is known not only for an amazing cricketer but for being an inspirational person?
It was October 15th, 2015. The Indian team was playing South Africa in a 5 match ODI series. India was 1-0 down and the match was crucial in the series. With India batting first, the openers immediately stumbled to the South African bowlers as the Top Order collapsed. MS Dhoni promoted himself to number 5 and steadied the innings. Wickets were falling at the other end, with the likes of Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma scoring under 15 runs. MS Dhoni single-handedly got them to a modest total of 247 runs, ending at an unbeaten score of 92 runs in 86 balls. Later on, India managed to bowl South Africa out with 22 runs to spare. After receiving the man of the match award, he was questioned who should receive credit for winning the game. He immediately responded that the spinners should receive credit as they bowled wonderfully when India was down under. Everyone was stunned at the response, as he had played a match-winning inning of 92 under pressure, keeping calm and hitting when required, yet he didn't even think of giving himself credit. Another man inquired if he should receive some credit, but then he called it a team effort, and not one person but everyone should be responsible for winning and losing alike. It's such qualities which make Dhoni special and stand out from other cricketers.
Another such instance occurred during the 2015 world cup.
It was February 6th, 2015. The Indian team, led by Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was preparing for the world cup. Their first warm-up match was just 2 days away, and the world cup, a week away. During that time, his one and only focus was cricket and nothing else. That's why even his mobile phone was switched off and he devoted his mind towards the situation. Just then, a fellow teammate and friend entered his room with news. He had just become a father. He had missed the birth of his first child, Ziva. But he didn't fly home immediately. He kept his focus on the task at hand. He went on to play the world cup and finally, 2 months later, he saw his daughter. In an interview during the world cup, Dhoni was asked whether he would prefer to be back in India. His answer? "I have been blessed with a baby daughter. Mum and daughter both are good," he told reporters. "But as of now I am on national duties so I think everything else can wait,” he said. The World Cup is a very important campaign, but he missed his daughter's birth and didn’t even see her for the first two months of her life. He sacrificed it all for the country. That's why so many people admire him. It isn't just the quick stumping and helicopter shots, but the qualities that define him and his devotion to the game.
There are countless other instances that I can mention, but that would take far too long. We will miss Dhoni, as an incredible pillar in the Indian team, and an icon of sportsmanship.