Tag: World Cup

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?

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The Diegesis of Tendulkar: My hero, My story

 

“Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don’t know, something beyond scientific measures, something that allows him to soar, to roam on territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives.”

-BBC  

 “There are two kinds of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar, two all of the others.”

Andy Flower

“I don’t know much about Cricket but still I watch it to see Sachin play because I want to know the reason why my country’s productivity goes down by 5% when he is batting.”

Barack Obama

 ”You were a great habit, Sachin”                                           

Harsha Bhogle

 

The first man on the planet to reach two hundred and it’s the superman from India – Sachin Tendulkar, yelled the bombastic Ravi Shastri. I remember the day clearly, India vs South Africa 2010, 2nd ODI, Gwalior. Before this day, I was not a Tendulkar fan. Yes I was obsessed with cricket but not with Tendulkar. I had seen him play, I knew he is the best but was not my favorite. Like most of the Indians, I was much into cricket, cricket being our pastime game. Cricket was to us what smartphones are for the new generation of kids. It was a mandatory game played at every gully of our society.

I remember people saying before that day, “Mujhe nahi lagta ke ODI mein kabhi koi double century maar paega, ye to na mumkin sa hai”. Par jo kaam duniya ko na mumkin lage vahi to mauka hota hai apna talent dikhane ka. And Sachin proved his talent again. He had almost every batting record on his name but not of highest score in an ODI innings (The record was to Charles Coventry of Zimbabwe and Saeed Anwar of Pakistan, both having 194 as their highest score). And that was his day, he added another record to his name.

Holy shit. That isn’t a score we get to make even in our gully cricket, where length of boundaries are even lesser than that of pitch of cricket. How did this happen? That was my reaction. He made me his fan.

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Sachin made me stick to the television from that day to November 2013, his last match. Rare were the days when I missed a match of him. And now, after watching 3 years of his live cricket batting, as well as the previous 21 years of highlights on sports channels, I realize why he is the best. I always believe that the world and India specifically, has very few people that are loved by ALL. Even Gandhi, Father of the Nation as we say, has a large group of haters. But then, there rises a man from Mumbai, who becomes a worldwide sensation, and is given an identity of GOD and is loved by ALL.

 

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24 years is a long time to call something a memory, journey wouldn’t be the right word either, only Harsha Bhogle hit the nail when he called Sachin a habit, and the habit had been an enthralling one. There are the lessons I learned from Sachin Tendulkar: Never let success get into your head, strive for the best, be sincere, love and enjoy what you do and never cease to learn. Sachin Tendulkar was, is and will continue to be my teacher of the game called life.

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  Tendulkar has done a lot of things to people. He gave them joy when he scored a century, sadness when he got out. He made people believe in god when he was in the nineties. He made people believe in unwieldy superstitions while he was batting. But of all, I like the one he made me do. He made me write a blog.