I am really enjoying my cricket.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has led the Indian team to an ICC Cricket World Cup title, a World T20 triumph, Champions Trophy glory and even guided the side to the helm of Test cricket’s rankings.
And so today, after 11 years dedicated to Indian cricket, when the country’s most successful captain blows out 34 candles on his cake, what more can he possibly wish for?
A Little Patience From The Press?
I’m always the one blamed for everything wrong with Indian cricket. Maybe it is all because of me that everything is happening.
– MS Dhoni (After India’s series loss to Bangladesh)
From the glory days to the gory struggles. India’s most successful skipper he might be, but that hasn’t made MS Dhoni immune to the Indian press’ target practise. A first-ever series loss to Bangladesh last month and the guns came out, blazing.
However this fire was soon snuffed out with his dressing room making statements of ‘dying for the captain’ and stalwarts like Sunil Gavaskar giving the public a timely reality check.
He(Dhoni) deserves respect and recognition. I do not think it would be fair to remove him as captain. It is a decision, which out of sheer respect for the man, should be left to him.
– Sunil Gavaskar
But why did the need arise? This man lifted the India team to it’s greatest glory days, why the doubt that he can’t do it again?
A Little Understanding From the BCCI?
MS Dhoni has called the shots in Indian cricket for most of the last decade, on the field at least. He made decisions to back the careers of Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan who won him the World Cup and he showed confidence in a young and floundering Virat Kohli, who now threatens to replace him.
Their first area of conflict; Ravi Shastri’s coaching contract.
While new Test skipper Kohli talks of Shastri with the undertones of a school-boy crush, insisting he be appointed coach at once, MS Dhoni has let it be known that he wants the board to take their time with the decision.
Don’t put just anybody there just because the post is vacant.
– MS Dhoni
Will the BCCI let Dhoni run the show in what’s left of his career standing beside a coach of his choice, or will he be forced to adjust based on the next-generation’s recommendations?
A Little Time From Virat Kohli?
I am not sure about it. I am 33, I’m still running fit. Maybe next year, close to the World T20 I will decide whether I want to play the next World Cup or not.
– MS Dhoni (on his retirement plans)
He may want to play for years to come but MS Dhoni knew he didn’t want to continue in whites, retiring from the format in December of 2014.
Cue Virat Kohli and his firebrand of cricket captaincy. Just his first few press conferences and Kohli had the average Indian cricket fan seeing rainbows and sunshine. Promises of world domination and brotherhoods in the dressing room impressed all, but it’s also all easier said than done.
However, with the recent run of unfavourable results, it won’t take much for the tide to turn in favour of Kohli and his big-talk. But he knows more than anyone that only a good apprentice makes a good leader.
And with Dhoni still wanting to play that one last tournament for India next year, he needs Virat Kohli to grant him that one integral wish. Time.
A Little ‘Papa’ From Baby Ziva
The ‘stone-faced’, ‘emotionless’, ‘detached’ ‘Captain Cool’ of Indian cricket transformed after returning to India from the 2015 World Cup.
There is a new side to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and she wears pink and cries all the times. In a matter of the four months he spent in Australia with the Indian cricket team, Dhoni’s job description changed from needing to father young Indian cricketers, to being a father in real life.
Little 4-month-old Ziva and MS Dhoni are now inseparable. Airports, cricket stadiums or hotels. Where he goes, she goes.
And so for all the cricketing wishes he may make while blowing out his 34 candles today, little Ziva may indeed have already granted MSD’s biggest wish in March this year.
Happy Birthday Captain! Long live Indian cricket, with you.