MS Dhoni: Always a captain

While India was on the field, it was pleasing to see MS Dhoni complementing Virat Kohli in decision making. It was a happy situation for Kohli, for whom Dhoni would always be his captain. With two brains working in tandem, it was a boon for India.

Indian captain Virat Kohli benefitted from the presence of MS Dhoni in the field.   -  PTI

M.S. Dhoni may feel that the two-captain policy does not work in India, but the team seems to be benefiting from two leaders in limited-overs cricket.

Even as Virat Kohli led the Indian side to a 15-run win over England in the second One-Day International at the Barabati Stadium here on Thursday, Dhoni, who quit captaincy just before the series, played the role of a virtual skipper.

When Dhoni went out to bat in the fifth over, he was required to shoulder the responsibility of reviving the Indian innings from trouble at 25 for three. He forged a record-breaking fourth-wicket stand of 256 runs with Yuvraj Singh to help the host put up a massive 381 for six.

In football, a prolific scorer with the capability to assist fellow forwards remains the most sought after player. In cricket, a batsman who excels on his own and lets his partner bloom commands respect.

Dhoni’s level-headed approach and the skills to handle critical situations again came to the fore when he rotated the strike and let the explosive Yuvraj express himself freely. That’s the way Dhoni has been guiding others, allowing them to flourish and shine.

Dhoni prompting Yuvraj to go for a referral after the southpaw was adjudged caught behind was another example of his cricketing awareness and commitment towards his fellow batsman.

When he got out in his attempt to score some quick runs after staying in the middle for about 43 overs and scoring a magnificent hundred, he was unhappy. He wanted to be there till the end to maximise the total.

While India was on the field, it was pleasing to see Dhoni complementing Kohli in decision making. It was a happy situation for Kohli, for whom Dhoni would always be his captain. With two brains working in tandem, it was a boon for India.

Inputs in crunch situations

With Dhoni effecting crucial field changes, sharing his inputs in crunch situations and keeping with one glove when England breathed down India’s neck in the closing stages, one wondered whether the two-time World Cup champion captain had really relinquished his post.

But that’s what Dhoni intended when he decided to step down from the most sought-after job. The 35-year-old wanted Kohli to ease into the captain’s role and mature as a leader in front of his experienced eyes.

In modern day Indian cricket, Sourav Ganguly had rewritten the fundamentals of leadership instilling courage and confidence in his boys. Dhoni has elevated it to a different level, grooming and seasoning his brigade to set up a new world order.