Interview of Cricket Fans (ICF) – 17 – M.S.Dhoni

“Dhoni, Dhoni!!!!!! Dhoni, Dhoni!!!!!! If you can hear these words in the form of crowds shouting their hearts out to a man who has made this country proud, then you are a fan of a certain Cricketer from Ranchi who dared to dream big, and that’s what he did. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is the reason we won the 2007 inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the reason that led to the birth of Indian Premier League. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the reason we became number 1 in test rankings and Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the reason we won the 2011 ICC World Cup. He is the reason India slept well on the night of April 2, 2011.

I got the opportunity to interview one of the biggest Dhoni fan and share his thoughts on arguably one of the greatest white-ball captain in cricketing history.

Thank You so much for you participation in this interview, when was the first time you saw MS Dhoni on tv? And when did you become a hardcore fan of him?

It was then in 2005, we had a bilateral ODI series against Sri Lanka at Sawai ManSingh Stadium (Jaipur). With Kumar Sangakkara’s century, SL set a target of 299 for India. Losing Sachin Tendulkar earlier, Dhoni accelerated himself with 183 off 145 balls in a winning cause. That’s the innings I witnessed of this man. And it was a love at first sight where I became his ardent devotee.

How would you describe Dhoni’s captaincy in tests, in ODI’s and in T20s?

Talking about Dhoni’s captaincy, he is one of the greatest the game ever had. No doubt or denial in it. Dhoni had delivered all sorts of flavour a fan needs. Not just stating it in particular, from leading the inaugural ICC T20 in South Africa in September 2007 till the every end of his captainship. He had taken us all, though ups and downs of emotional concern which brought a high belief over him and his captaincy that continued till 2014 in Test cricket and till 2017 in ODI’s and T20’s. His rage towards captainship was phenomenal and inspiration to the next generation that follows his path.

Had MS Dhoni not demoted himself in the batting line-up from number 3 to number 7 in white ball format, do you think we would have still won the 2011 World Cup as well as Champions Trophy 2013? Do you think captaincy could affect him at that number 3 position?

Answering the first, definitely we would have won the WC 2011 as well as Champions Trophy 2013.
Secondly, a captain shouldn’t be so static about their batting position. We have witnessed many captains including Dhoni himself making way for the youngsters leaving their positions. Being in number 3 wouldn’t have affected the nature that had a lot a cricket in him.

Your thoughts on MS Dhoni as a finisher? Mention couple of your favourite knocks in the white ball format.

“MSD, a Finisher”, the phrase says it all. One of the best finisher the game has seen. Though Michael Bevan was called a “clinical finisher” beyond past. The revolutionary approach this man “Dhoni” has brought/produced was immortal and remarkable that any Cricket lover will agree to.
Not just 1 or 2 that pops up when we state Dhoni as a Finisher. There are multiple events the fans had witnessed around.
Selecting just 2 favourite knocks will a definite injustice to the contribution he had given us. But yeah, something sweeps me off are 2011 WC knock and 2013 Celkon mobile cup final.

Captaining an Indian Cricket Team is as tough as climbing Mount Everest. And when India weren’t doing well, there must have been tremendous pressure on him which may have affected his mental health too. Your thoughts on this?

Mental health is not a destination but a process and we have already heard Dhoni talking about the process he focuses on irrespective of what the result is. When India weren’t doing well, definitely it would have been a learning for the captain as well as the team to get them back in line. Bettering the process to overcome the mistakes made is what his mind would have been at. As a fan following him all these years, we can obviously say that the focal point of him is the process than the pressure it gives.

What are the things that you learnt from MS Dhoni?

Being a management graduate, every aspect of Dhoni we observe is a learning. Some which I truly follow up with are learning to handle criticism that comes my way, planning the work and making sure the work of the plan is done, understanding to be cool under the pressure situations, leading from the first and standing up with the decision I make, just focusing on the process and ready accept whatever the result is, learning from the past and the mistakes , living the present, consider all the factors or elements that comes my way, and building the mental model of what the situation I’m at.

When MS Dhoni retired from white-ball captaincy in 2017, everyone thought we would see the old MS back, unfortunately it was the opposite of that. What was the reason behind this mindset in your opinion?

Talking about post 2017 captaincy retirement, every cricket fan was in urge to look back the old MS, though he couldn’t make up. Still yeah, his experiences have helped the team in many situations to taste victory. Whether it is guiding the lads on and off the field or with his glove works, he kept us all uplifted to believe him to the very end.
Feeding the captain/bowlers whenever necessary with the infos and tactics maintained the pressure situations in control and yeah, magics were happening around.

When you first read the caption of Dhoni’s post on Instagram – “Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout. From 1929 hrs consider me as Retired” what was going on in your mind?

Firstly, I questioned myself on whether I’m in a nightmare or hallucinating something that isn’t real. Though I was already prepared for a situation like this. Still made me feel melancholy. It was all a sudden. It was all an unexpected time. Tears rolled down in disbelief. Questioned myself ” what am I gonna do next?”. Just thought of all other msdians mentality at that moment and about @DHONIism. Consoled myself and back here to spread @dhoniism around the globe.
It’s been a week, still hard to digest the fact but here I’m sending positivity to all the loved msdians around.
For me, it isn’t ” Cricket won’t be the same without Dhoni” but it is ” There is no Cricket without Dhoni”.

Cheers and Regards
Bhavya Shree
Team Dhonism

Thank You so much for reading this piece. Do share this article if you enjoyed it. Follow me on Twitter – @bhavsarj2_0

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