Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men five years ago shocked the world by lifting the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup trophy in South Africa. No one ever thought that Team India without the services of their big guns, including Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly stood any chance in the the tournament.
India routed almost all the teams that came their way to give the cricket crazy nation a world title after a long gap of 24 years. There were huge celebrations back home and one name that stood out was that of Dhoni. Very soon Dhoni was handed over the ODI captaincy and soon he became the captain of Indian team in all three formats.
It has been close to five years now, that this man has been handling what is one of the toughest jobs in the world. But one can say that Dhoni amidst all the pressure and expectations has done pretty well. It hasn't been a smooth journey like that of Australian catains, but nevertheless Dhoni's has seen several highs amongst some pretty lows. It has been a roller coaster ride for Dhoni, but he still has time in his hands.
Let’s have a look at some of the highs and lows that Dhoni faced in his five years old tenure.
Winning the inaugural World T20 tournament: Nobody gave Indian team a chance when the men-in-blue started the tournament without their big guns in the squad. South Africa and Australia looked much stronger than India. But Dhoni and his men thought differently and they displayed some fabulous cricket. Indian team kept improving their performance with each passing game and dismantled every team that came its way. They defeated Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, England to qualify for the finals. In the finals, Dhoni made some gutsy decisions and India pulled off a stunning victory.
Winning ICC ODI World Cup: India after a horrendous performance in the previous World Cup in the West Indies were looking to put up a better performance on the home soil. Dhoni was once again the man who was in command. India were playing at home and the stage was set for Dhoni to repeat Kapil Dev’s feat. Indian team started the tournament a bit slowly but once they entered the knock-out stage they played some brilliantl cricket. They defeated Australia and Pakistan to book a final with co-hosts Sri Lanka. It was a fitting end that Dhoni was the man who hit the shot which won India the World Cup.
India being the number one Test team: In the 90s nobody would have believed that India could ever be world’s number one Test team. But Dhoni’s men made it possible. It was a long process that started under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly then passed on to Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and finally to MS Dhoni. But once again, it was MS Dhoni under whose flagship India got the status of being the best in five day cricket.
Winning Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia: It was the one-day triangular series that followed one of the most controversial Test series of all time. There were lots of controversial decisions made against Indian team and that frustrated the Indians. But India took the revenge by beating Australia to win the triangular series.
Winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Indian team was very frustrated after what happened in Australia. Anil Kumble who was the leader in Australia handed over the duty to MS Dhoni. India in that series played some wonderful cricket and dominated Australia in all the aspects.
Lows that Indian team saw under MS Dhoni:
England Tour: The England tour in 2011 was probably one of India’s worst tours in the history of India cricket. India team were the number one Test team but they did not play like one. English players dominated Indians in all the four Test matches. Dhoni was pretty ordinary with his captaincy and failed to take the initiatives. After the white-wash in Tests, it was expected that India will do well in ODIs. But Dhoni’s men lost all the following one-dayers and T20s.
Four match Test series in Australia: After the drubbing in England, it was expected that the Indian team will bounce back and will test the in-experienced Australians. The Australian team was going through a rebuilding phase after their Ashes loss, but they too tormented the Indians. India lost all the four Test matches and failed to qualify for the finals of the following one-day series. Dhoi once again failed as a captain.
Last two T20 World Cups: India after winning the inaugural World T20 title were considered as a strong opponent in the following tournaments. But the Indian team disappointed in both England and than in the West Indies. Dhoni’s men failed to go beyond the Super Eight stage in both the edition.
By Indian Sports News Network