Dhoni consolidates position

Dhoni consolidates position

His roller-coaster adventure has hit a new high. The euphoria is evidently on show, even as he embarks on yet another conquest in far-off Caribbean...

His roller-coaster adventure has hit a new high. The euphoria is evidently on show, even as he embarks on yet another conquest in far-off Caribbean beginning on Friday. The rise and rise of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain has been remarkably steady, despite the setbacks that have been few and far in between.

For a skipper who depends more on instinctive compulsions then on creative outpourings, Dhoni may neither belong to the aristocratic league of Tiger Pataudi nor display the aggressive combativeness that was exemplified by Saurav Ganguly but there is a rustic charm to the man from Jharkhand that is all too endearing. This trait of his, which he exhibits at regular intervals and stuns the pundits of the game, is being lapped up by millions of fans across the fraternity because they are translating into one success after the other.

Dhoni's cupboard is overflowing with trophies that signify extraordinary finesse in man-management. He has achieved spectacular things, most of which no captain has ever done before him-leading the team to championship triumphs in the ODI World Cup (2011), World T20 (2007) and now the ICC Champions Trophy apart from putting India on top of the Test ladder for 18 consecutive months from mid-2009.

Of course, there have been two title triumphs for Chennai Super Kings and other series wins, along the way. It has been a fairytale comeback for the Man with the Midas touch given that a just over a year back he was at the receiving end of a nationwide condemnation following the twin disasters against England and Australia. As the man who put him atop the pedestal, Dilip Vengsarkar, rightly points out "Dhoni sees positivity even in defeats. He is never afraid of implementing if he believes in something."

This intuitive gamble (which appears weird, at times) is perhaps the mantra that Captain Cool swears by, irrespective of the situation of any particular match. The results, by way of positive gains, are overwhelmingly in his favour. It is to be noted that he is presently leading a squad that is every bit Youngistan in letter, spirit and age so much so that at 31 years,the captain is its Grand Old Man. It is a remarkable transition he has worked out while taking full advantage of the fact that he was given players of his choice. The average age of Team India that regained the ICC Champions Trophy was 26! A more appreciable aspect about the CT experience was that purposeful collectivism bore fruit as every member of the team performed to expectations.

Given such inspirational leadership qualities, it is least bit surprising that Dhoni has been named captain of the ICC`s Team of the Champions Trophy. The decoration bestowed on him, quite logically and naturally, fits him to the tee. A fall-out amid the hysterical celebration is that, suddenly, no one is talking about spot-fixing. But then, no one is complaining. In fact, except for envy and wholesome adulation, there is no room for grudging the accomplishments of Captain Courageous.

Sridhar K Penna

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