Mahendra Singh Dhoni won India 3 ICC trophies in a span of 7 years. He led India to win every multi-nation tournament at least once that they participated in. It was MS Dhoni who made the whole nation believe that India can win every championship. In his 9 year reign as limited-overs captain, Dhoni kickstarted many trends. These trends weren’t just limited to captaincy but also as a batsman and a wicket-keeper. Trends started by MS Dhoni in cricket. Cricketers around the world have followed Dhoni’s style. Few of them do it as an act of reverence.
StumpsandBails looks at 5 cricketing trends that MS Dhoni started:
#5 Removing the gloves in the last over
MS Dhoni is one of the smartest cricketers to have graced the cricketing field. He soon realised the importance of batsmen sneaking in a single in form of a bye, especially during the end overs. Dhoni was equal to the task on most occasions. During the slog overs and primarily in the last two overs, Dhoni kept wickets with just a single glove. This enabled him to take aim at the stumps easily. Dhoni’s street smartness helped India win an iconic game against Bangladesh by 1 run. Dhoni had outsmarted runner Mustafizur Rahman by running him out in a one-on-one clash.
#4 Making spinners bowl the first over in T20 cricket
It was MS Dhoni who started the trend of using spinners in the powerplay. His tactic of using Ravichandran Ashwin in the powerplay proved to be a stroke of genius. Ashwin dismissed a rampaging Chris Gayle in the IPL 2011 finals to seal the championship in the very first over. Teams started employing this tactic to keep the batsmen in check during the first 6 overs. Eoin Morgan now uses Adil Rashid as his trump card during the powerplay.
#3 Helicopter shot to counter the Yorkers
MS Dhoni came up the ranks owing to his inventiveness in the toughest of situations. He had a response to almost everything on the cricket field. Bowlers had long troubled the batsmen with pin-point Yorkers at the death. Batsmen found the ball difficult to hit for big runs. But MS Dhoni’s helicopter shot changed the complexion of the modern game. He went deep into the crease to deposit Yorker length ball way into the mid-wicket stands. Andre Russell, AB de Villiers, and Hardik Pandya started using the same tactic to counter the Yorkers.
#2 Last ball six
MS Dhoni made the last ball six a worldly phenomenon. It was almost always predestined that MS Dhoni will hit the last ball of the innings/match for a six. The trend had caught on so much that it would feel almost incomplete without Dhoni’s finishing six. Indian fans proudly remember the World Cup-winning six that Dhoni hit on 2 April 2011. Dhoni’s winning six is unforgettable. It is as legendary as the man himself.
#1 Handing over the trophy to youngsters
Dhoni exemplified true leadership qualities. He sent in a youngster to handle the press when the team won. But he braved to face them when the team lost. Dhoni was a leader in the true sense of the word. He did his thing and disappeared. Dhoni was never the face of the team’s celebrations. He handed over the trophy to the youngest member of the squad and relegated himself to the sidelines. The Indian team has carried forward his legacy. This act of sharing the achievement with the younger members instills a feeling of inclusion and belief. The nation is indebted to this small-town man from Ranchi who started this beautiful trend.