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A Leader Par Excellence: Such is Dhoni

By: Rajen Garabadu

Last Updated: August 16, 2020, 12:19 IST

MS Dhoni has been nominated for Men's ODI Player of the Decade and Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade

MS Dhoni has been nominated for Men's ODI Player of the Decade and Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade

MS Dhoni Retires | For a cricketer from Ranchi in Jharkhand to be selected to play for India and later captain it is an inspirational story for every aspiring cricketer.

Leadership is about putting yourself out there when the stakes are high. Mahendra Singh Dhoni demonstrated it at the highest level when he promoted himself up the batting order ahead of Yuvraj Singh, the in-form player of World Cup 2011. It was the biggest risk any sportsman can take. If he had failed to deliver, a billion Indians would be baying for his blood. Such is Dhoni.

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Remember, India is yet to forget the last ball six, hit by Javed Miandad off Chetan Sharma when the former stepped out of the crease to convert an attempted yorker into a full-toss. Chetan Sharma had to survive the ignominy for much of his cricketing career. Sadly, more people remember him for the last ball six than they do for being the first bowler to secure a hat-trick in a World Cup match. Indian cricketing fans can react in extremes. They will idolise you if you succeed and burn your effigy if you fail, especially against Pakistan.

It takes infinite courage and supreme confidence to be able to risk everything he had earned till that moment. And that too in a World Cup final match in India. Such is Dhoni.

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Having led India to win the World Cup after a very long wait of 28 years, he was comfortable to witness Sachin Tendulkar be the toast of the victory. Yuvraj Singh went on record to say he wanted to win the World Cup for Sachin. The team carried Sachin on its shoulders during the victory lap after lifting the World Cup. Dhoni was content to stay in the background. Never has he opened his mouth about losing an opportunity of what deservedly was his moment in the sun. Such is Dhoni.

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For a cricketer from Ranchi in Jharkhand to be selected to play for India and later captain it is an inspirational story for every aspiring cricketer. Dhoni paved the way for small town dreamers and gave them the belief that impossible is nothing. No wonder that his life and career was the subject of a full-length feature film in mainstream Bollywood. An inspiring story which deserved to be told and immortalised on celluloid. Such is Dhoni.

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Rarely does one get to see such a successful star quietly walk into the sunset and always find so much comfort in being reclusive. Such is Dhoni.

Dhoni will rank among the finest leaders across careers in the 21st century, not just in cricket and sports. Some are born leaders, some achieve leadership, and some have leadership thrust upon them. No marks for guessing the category where Dhoni lies. A leader par excellence. Such is Dhoni.

He will be missed.