Love him or hate him, but you can’t ignore him
Contributed By Ankit Doshi
“The man you know, the journey you don’t!”
Thus begin a three hour journey on silver screen called “MS Dhoni: The Untold Story”
Mahi is such a boss that he is the only cricketer whose biopic has been made while he is still active on field.
To many, the finest MSD memory will be the ‘SIX’ he hit on 2nd April, 2011, that won India the Cricket World Cup after a hiatus of 28 years, also making it the first country to achieve this feat on home ground. But, to me the brightest MSD memory will be the instance when after losing matches outside India, he once remarked :
“I have three dogs at home. Even after losing or winning, they treat me the same way.”
The significance of this statement is simple yet crucial – that despite being a champion, one is susceptible to fumble and fall.
MSD means different things to different people. You can either love him, or hate him – but you will never be able to ignore him, even if it is for the mere fact that his name pops up in the news when you least expect it to, and for the quirkiest of reasons.
You loved him in his long locks, he chopped it off.
You loved him in his cropped avatar, he buzzed it off.
You loved him in his buzz cut, he grew his locks again.
Re-inventing himself is how he rolls – be it on, or off, field.
A shrewd sportsman, Mahi broke into the Indian Cricket Team, at a time when many keeper-batsman were vying for that solitary spot, and made it his own, and how.
He made up for the loss of time due to a late debut with performance, becoming the only name to lead India in record number of International Cricket Matches. That coming from someone who debuted after 22+ is an achievement difficult to match, given his full career in all the formats spanned just a decade.
Calls for retirement gained momentum after he stepped down from Test matches, but he came back to lead India to the Semis in 2015 World Cup.
Speculations for his retirement rose again, but he returned to lead India to the Semis, this time in 2016 T20 World Cup.
This elusive retirement was predicted again last month when everyone thought it was time for him to hang his boots because Virat was groomed enough to replace him.
But then, here he is! Not going by the rule book and populist choice, but handing over the captaincy reins to Virat with no qualms about playing under him.
While promoting his Biopic, the most important life lesson that MSD taught was the Decision Making Process, which he spoke about many a times.
The decision to believe in yourself.
The decision, that if you have the will, you can juggle both, education and sports. That you may be from a humble background, but still charge crores for your story to be told.
The decision to catch that train, while sitting in a platform all alone, to pursue your dreams.
The decision to give the last over to little known Joginder Sharma, dismissing another great Misbah, off the last ball in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007.
The decision to drop the person (Dada), in early 2008, who backed Dhoni to the hilt, to build a fresh team.
The decision to come ahead of the Man of the Tournament, Yuvraj Singh, in 2011 World Cup, and steal his limelight, to make sure that it will always be about his SIX.
The decision to bid adieu to Test Matches, in the midst of an all important series in December 2014 against Australia, and still get away with it.
The decision to back underperformers, like Ashwin and Jadeja, who are paying Dividends NOW because Dhoni had invested in themTHEN.
The decision to continue playing in shorter formats, irrespective of what others believe.
And now the decision to continue as just another player in the team.
Something tells me that the MSD show is not yet over.
Once again, we are up for something extraordinary.
’’The journey you know, the man you will never’’
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