Tag: Test

Come back stronger, Smithy!

Come back stronger, Smithy!

As an ardent fan and enthusiast of the Test Cricket, it was distressing for me to watch one of the world’s best players ending up making a wrong judgment. No doubt, it will take some time to get over this grief, but I just want to let you know that I am sorry too. Because it is fans like us, who put extra pressure on you guys to win, which resulted in a desperate move on your part to win.

 

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Honesty is almost unheard of in international sports. But seeing you owning up to your one rare mistake, and risking your career; not to mention paying the price for the past sins of Australian cricket, you Sir have set new standards in the world of cricket, or rather in the world of sports.

It takes immense guts to accept that you have erred, and it takes enormous bravery to address the media and say “I was wrong and I am sorry.” Knowing how critical media is to every defeat, I know it will be hard to right this wrong, but I am writing this to let you know that the world is still at your feet.
It takes a strong character to accept a mistake, and even stronger to do it in public. We have always been taught, a leader is someone who leads by an example both on and off the field.

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I know many fans like me who idolize you, must have been let down by your one rare misjudgment, but by owning up to the mistake, you made me a real fan of your character.
In countries like India and Australia, we hold our sporting heroes to a higher standard than everyone else. For me, it has always been cricketers, be it Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and recently you.
At the age of 28, you had every bowler around the world dancing to your tunes, some of my colleagues would even discuss, how to stop world’s number 1 Test batsman, you, from scoring big hundreds. Because it felt like every time you wore the Baggy Green and walked to the wicket, you were walking on water.
You still remain the only batsman in the current era to have 941 ranking points, an average second best only to Sir Don Bradman and 23 Test centuries. Your hundred in Adelaide Test 2014 will remain special.

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Someone who has followed your cricket since your debut, and knowing cricket is your life, as you not only play it but you breathe it; I know the next few days, and weeks and months would be difficult.

Always remember, you have the capacity for greatness! Your path back is going to be long and rocky, and there will be a lot of dark times. But I wish you the quickest recovery ever.

Knowing you from a distance, I am sure you will come back stronger, Smithy!

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M. S. Dhoni: The skipper who never skipped

“Dhoni finishes off in style…..a magnificent strike into the crowd…..India lifts the World Cup after 28 years….the party starts in the dressing room and it is the Indian Captain who has been absolutely magnificent in the night of the final”. Those were the words which came out of an overjoyed Ravi Shastri after Dhoni hits that magnificent six to give India a memory which every Indian would cherish for his lifetime. It’s been 6 years since India won the World Cup but that memory can give goosebumps to any Indian cricket fan. To say India is a cricket-crazed country is an understatement. We are nuts about the game. We worship our cricketers when they’re successful. And the same happened with Mahendra Singh Dhoni too, the man who made the dream of 125 Crore Indians come true.

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From a duck on International debut to becoming India’s most successful captain, From a thrill-a-minute swashbuckler to a captain whose trademark is his calm, Dhoni has come a long way. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers in limited-overs cricket and the greatest captain of Indian National Cricket team so far.

Since he took over as captain in 2007, Dhoni led India in 199 ODIs, and over the nine years he captained, Team India achieved almost everything that an Indian cricket fan was waiting for, from winning the T20 World Cup in 2007 to being the World Champions in 2011, and from winning ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 to being the No.1 team in all the three formats.

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The strains of captaining an international cricket team, especially one as high-profile as India, can be extremely demanding. MS Dhoni’s legend is based on his leading India to victory in many top tournaments – he is the only captain to win all three top ICC events, the World Cup, the World T20 and the Champions Trophy – also equally impressive was the manner in which he ensured his own standards as a batsman through most of his tenure as captain. Dhoni is already amongst the best ODI players in the history. His finishing skills in particular are enviable. Give him the most difficult task and he will, more often than not, finish it with ease. In 2008 and 2009, he was named the ICC ODI Player of the Year. And over the years, he has maintained an ODI average of above 50 which is enough to prove that how good a batsman he is.

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The worst thing about time is that it changes, even if a person doesn’t want it to. He is still lightning between wickets. The undoing of the glove remains. The focusing of the eyes has become more intense. Even now, that remains the only external indication of some form of stress. But the only thing that has changed now is that he is no more the captain of the men in blue.

Cool is now legendary, but has there ever been a captain with greater situational awareness than him?