There are absolutely no doubts that Dhoni has evolved into a phenomenon for Indian cricket in the last decade. But how many of us have stopped to wonder how Indian cricket would have been if the legend had not taken to the cricket field?

 

I  We Have T20 in a Different Avatar

The 2007 world cup victory is no doubt a major reason why Indian palates began loving the format, and obviously if Indians love anything cricket, that’s where the money is. And thus, came the rise of the shortest format. MS Dhoni bringing home the inaugural T20 world cup caused Indians to enjoy the IPL a lot more. If it wasn’t for Dhoni and his 2007 antics, IPL would not be where it is today.

 

II    Cricket Would Have Missed The Birth of the Modern Finisher

 

Finishers are a menacing new species of batsmen that evolved in the last decade. MS Dhoni coming in down the order and having to bat with a frail lower order meant that he had the responsibility to finish games quickly. The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Jos Butler and David Miller enjoying the finisher tag owe a great deal of credit to this Ranchi legend.

Is Dhoni’s T20 career at crossroads? We find out in in this article!

 

III   India’s Perpetual Hunt for a Batsman Wicket Keeper Would Continue

India had been sweating over not having a batsman wicket keeper for a very long time. The Tamil Nadu based Dinesh Karthik and perpetually baby-faced Parthiv Patel could not hold for a long time. Stand in skipper turned stand in keeper Rahul Dravid had too much to do, and naturally, Dhoni’s arrival was a major relief to Indian cricket. 16094 international runs across three formats in a career spanning over a decade is nothing short of a legend. He is already the fourth leading Indian run scorer in ODI and has 398 dismissals to show.

 

 IV   Captaincy Wouldn’t Have Been the ‘Cool’ Thing to Do

Captaincy does not come naturally to all players. Most players crumble under the burden. And then there are players like Dhoni who are champions as skippers, a class apart. Right from Joginder Sharma bowling the T20 world cup final over all the way to promoting himself above the order in the 2011 World cup and everything else in between, MS Dhoni has been innovative in all his game plans. MS Dhoni is undoubtedly one of the most innovative and calculative mind to set foot on the cricket pitch. With 110 ODI victories from 199 games as skipper, MSD has become a beacon for Indian cricket.

 

 IV  Cricket Would Miss the Brand Outside the Pitch

When Sachin hit the Indian screens with his secret to his energy, a new avenue was opened. MS Dhoni took this to greater heights with his number one spirit of leadership.Brand endorsements and commercial value increased manifold as Dhoni became the poster boy of the Indian television audience. In 2015, Forbes ranked Dhoni at 23 in the list of highest paid athletes.MS Dhoni’s brand perception has given Bollywood stars a run for their money. Big bucks and better branding helps cricket compete on a global scale with other sports.

 

  VI  India Would Have No One Commanding the Rough Seas

Ganguly led a side that boasted Sachin, Dravid, Sehwag and Zaheer while Kohli wields the likes of Pujara, Rohit, Ashwin and Hardik Pandya. In between was MS Dhoni who led a side that saw veterans feign and youngsters rise. There is something about Dhoni’s reign that goes beyond just numbers. A lack of a quality pace attack, an unstable middle order, a dearth of all-rounders and an overall inexperience of the squad had plagued Captain Cool. And this plight was not just limited to the players. Coaches also, begining from a volatile Greg Chappel to Garry Kirsten, Dunken Fletcher and Ravi Shastri have had issues of their own.And yet amidst this chaos are three ICC trophies. He also did not enjoy extended home seasons like today and still made the most of what he had at his disposal.

 

VII   Cricket Wouldn’t have Developed an Adulterous Liaison with Football

MS Dhoni’s first love was football and his career in sports had started out as a goal keeper. Even today he is very vocal about his love for football. He is also the co-owner of Chennaiyin FC and even turns up for celebrity football games. MS Dhoni plays an important role in the development of football in a country where the sport was a once a cult in comparison to the religion called cricket.

 

MS Dhoni is a sensation in cricket and his tale has gone on to become a legend. This legend will claim centre stage when Indian cricket is recited to future generations and it is indeed mind boggling to even think of how Indian cricket would have been if it wasn’t for him.

 

 

Ramkumar Nair

Cricaddict and Foodie

Senior Executive

22Yards

 

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