It is not a mere coincidence that Dhoni lead India in both the Tests that India beat Australia in the recent cricket Test series. As one avid Indian supporter rightly said, “Dhoni made it happen”.
Dhoni has already displayed captaincy skills thus far not seen in Indian cricket. Comparing his captaincy style to that of Ganguly (as Dada says himself) would be a disservice to the young man. He absolutely leads from the front unlike most other Indian captains. In his short stint as captain he has shown repeatedly that he is different and far better than all those who have captained India in the recent past.
Here are a few of his moves that come to mind.
- In the Mohali test, his decision to come in at number three and his ability to push the score along set the stage for India’s victory.
- In the Nagpur Test, the “8 on the off” fielding strategy was key to India’s victory. I can’t recall the last time an Indian captain displayed an “out of the box” thinking of this nature. Although one could argue that this was a defensive move, its a sure sign that the man is a thinker and always leads with a clear strategy.
- Dhoni’s decision to ask Dada to lead after the fall of the 9th wicket was a master stroke. It was a terrific gesture of the kind world cricket has never witnessed.
- Despite his meteoric rise, Dhoni’s personal life has remained private and low key unlike say, those of the scandal-prone Sreesanth or Yuvraj Singh.
- His post-match comments appear to be thoughtful, level headed and down to earth. He recently admitted that something was a “fluke”.
- His decision to phase out the senior players from the ODI side proved to be the right move (despite all the criticism he faced). Thanks to this decision, India was able to beat Australia on home turf in the ODI series last year.
- Lastly, Dhoni almost always appears to be calm and composed even in times of intense pressure. In comparison notice Yuvraj screaming at his fielders (in the recent Challenger trophy and in the IPL series).
The victory against Australia in the Test series, following the ODI win in Australia (where Dhoni led the team), could be the turning point in India’s rise to the top as the number one Test team. With Dhoni in-charge and a younger set of players ready to take over from the seniors, the future of Indian cricket could not be better positioned.
At the moment it looks like Dhoni could do no wrong. Some might even argue that he simply has the “Midas touch”. It remains to be seen how far he can sustain his success. Up until now, he has clearly displayed terrific captaincy skills and excited Indian crickets fans the world over with impressive results and unparalleled optimism. For someone who has hardly captained a team prior to this, his accomplishments so are simply mind-boggling.