Dhoni - Living life the 'Mahi' Way

Published: Monday, August 13, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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By Trishna Bose[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni is Indian Cricket's latest iconic story. With his signature long hair and his 'inimitable' Dhoni style, over the months he has become the people's cricketer. He has only been on the Indian Cricket International scene for a couple of years and in this time he has created a niche positioning for himself. From just the man from the state of Jharkhand to the quintessential rockstar of the state, the journey has been an explosive one.

Dhoni made his way to the Indian side, for his glovesmanship behind the stumps, but his brand of batting went down very well with the cricket loving fraternity in the country. His batting in the one day format is particularly attractive as he smashes his way to glory. He started his ODI career with a duck but a few matches later a 148 off just 123 balls against arch rivals Pakistan, marked his arrival as India's freshest and most aggressive wicket-keeper batsman. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, referred to as 'Mahi' by his friends, has had an up and down batting graph in the longer version of the game, having scored 1019 runs in 20 matches at an average of 37.74. He has shown that he has the power to adapt his batting according to the situation. In the ongoing Test series against the English, Dhoni smashed 92 off only 81 balls in the first innings of the third Test at the Oval.

View Dhoni's career statistics

As a batsman, Dhoni is very useful as he comes lower down the batting order and gives the team that much more support towards the tail. But it is the wicket keeper in him that one must address. The role of the wicket keeper is a crucial one for he is the motivator for the team and the voice of the team. But sadly they are remembered more for the byes that they concede, rather than the super saves they make. They are cricket's unsung heroes, cricket's famous whipping boys. Being a wicket keeper is a tough act and being one that is successful is even more trying. Dhoni's wicket-keeping report card is satisfactory, and like Ian Chappell mentioned recently, while commentating - that Dhoni is the kind of cricketer who is learning all the time. Of late he is standing further back to the pacers, so that he can practice his footwork more effectively. These are signs of a good player, when the attitude is one where he is seeking to improvise all the time.

Everyone knows where Dhoni is today and how well he has adapted to the pressures of international cricket. From an ordinary state cricketer, to becoming one who is second only to Tendulkar is terms of endorsements, is no mean feat. But the beauty of it all is that he has not let anything get to his head. His teammates find him most down to earth and sources close to him, vouch for his simplicity. With another feather added to his cap, as Captain of the Twenty20 side for the imminent World cup of Twenty20 cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows that this just the beginning of another chapter in his cricketing book of life.

From the boy who idolized Australia's Adam Gilchrist, to the man who has played alongside his hero. From the child who looked up to Sachin Tendulkar, to the man who is compared with his idol in terms of popularity. There is a lot that 'Mahi' can be proud of. There are shades of his other passions that rise to the surface, for instance when he dives to save a wayward ball bowled, you can see the goalkeeper in him that he used to be. And when Sachin Tendulkar won the player of the series award in January this year in the one day series against the West Indies, Dhoni took his team mates for a ride on the bike that was the award. An avid biker, he is now the proud owner of a Kawasaki ZX 14 and knowingly or unknowingly he has zoomed his way into thousands of Indian homes.

The brand, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will remain in the Indian Cricketing scheme of things, and why not! The sport needs a character and when he is a sensible, down to earth persona, that's like the icing on the cake. Already the Dhoni hair cut, or 'hair grow', is a trend and long hair never seemed so chic before. From brown to jet black the various hues of his locks have been the talk of all the glossy papers. Soon he will be linked to starlets, or is he just not that type! The point is, that he is an icon and there are no two ways about it.

Life will never be the same for the boy from Ranchi, for he is now not just a boy, but the Ranchi rocker, and the most endearing fact is he never forgets where he comes from. Now, that's the stuff that champions are made of.


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