Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the most iconic figures of Indian cricket. He is arguably the biggest cricketing icon of the 21st century. Dhoni’s contributions to Indian cricket is unparalleled. He was unconventional but had the results to show. Dhoni’s often spoken stubbornness yielded him the desired output almost always. There were many critics at various junctures of his life that kept pulling him down. But Dhoni in his own inimitable style kept proved his critics Wrong.
We look at 5 such instances when MS Dhoni proved his critics wrong:
#1 Answering Harsh Goenka in his own style
Dear Harsh Goenka,
— Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) April 22, 2017
MS Dhoni played for the Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL in 2016-17 when CSK was suspended. Sanjeev Goenka was the owner of the franchise. His brother, Harsh Goenka was not a Dhoni admirer by any stretch. He posted a caustic tweet when Steve Smith-led RPS performed well in IPL 2017. As RPS had finished 7th in the points table in 2016 under Dhoni, the owners changed the captaincy. Harsh Goenka was very happy at Dhoni’s expense. But this did not go down well with the fans. Dhoni kept mum and answered him stunningly when he led CSK to a championship win in 2018!
#2 MS Dhoni’s backing of Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja is now arguably the world’s leading allrounder across formats. But this wasn’t the case back then when he made his debut. Jadeja was a very limited cricketer when he started his career. But he found a huge backing in Dhoni. Dhoni even promoted Jadeja to number 4 in T20 World Cup 2009 when his painstaking 35 balls 25 cost India the game. Jadeja failed in the 2010 T20 World Cup too conceding 6 sixes in 2 overs. But Dhoni never lost faith in Jadeja. It was Dhoni who brought Jadeja into Test cricket. Jadeja went on to win the ‘Player of the Series’ award in the Champions Trophy, 2013. He is now an indispensable part of the team. But it was Dhoni who made him the player he is today. Even Jadeja will agree to this!
#3 Proving Scott Styris’ prediction wrong
Not many had given CSK a chance this season after their poor run in IPL 2020. Scott Styris, the former New Zealand allrounder was no different. He had listed CSK 8th in his predictions for IPL 2021. But that stat didn’t age well as CSK finished the first half of the league in 2nd position. Dhoni again proved that he can’t be written off so easily.
Let's try this
WAY TOO EARLY POWER RANKINGS @IPL 2021
— Scott Styris (@scottbstyris) April 2, 2021
#2 MS Dhoni dropped undroppable seniors
MS Dhoni was appointed as the ODI captain after Rahul Dravid stepped down from captaincy post the England series in 2007. Dhoni had just led India to T20 World Cup glory. India were set to tour Australia for a tri-series featuring Australia, Sri Lanka, and India. Dhoni was adamant that certain seniors weren’t fit enough to excel in the long grounds of Australia. He believed their lethargy might cost the team many runs in the field. This was a decision that didn’t go do well with cricket lovers. But Dhoni made history by leading the team to a historic win in Australia. His move to go in with a young team was vindicated.
#1 It was MS Dhoni who persisted with Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is arguably the best batsman across formats in world cricket currently. He is undoubtedly the best opener in modern cricket. Sharma made his debut in 2007 in the T20 World Cup. He showed a lot of promise quite early in his career. But consistency wasn’t always his best friend. Sharma struggled in the initial years of his career. But Dhoni never gave up his belief in Sharma. He went to the extent of dropping Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag to accommodate Rohit Sharma. Dhoni threw the final dice of handing him the opener’s role in limited-overs cricket in 2013. Sharma hasn’t looked back ever since!
If not for Dhoni’s continuous backing of players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma, Indian cricket wouldn’t have seen the heights it is currently touching.