Describing MS Dhoni is no easy task. Words may fall short, videos may not capture his essence, and photos may fail to convey the magnitude of his brilliance on the cricket field. As a batsman, wicketkeeper, and captain, Dhoni’s abilities were unmatched, and as a person, his demeanor and conduct were exemplary. In a cricket-crazed nation like India, Dhoni’s fandom reaches unparalleled heights. Despite two decades of articles, books, movies, and discussions about him, Dhoni and his legacy remain an enigma.
On July 7, 2023, as MS Dhoni celebrates his 42nd birthday, attempting to encapsulate his persona seems futile. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), however, made an admirable effort to highlight one aspect of Dhoni’s game: his ruthless power-hitting. In a 70-second video montage, the BCCI showcased some of Dhoni’s colossal sixes from his illustrious career.
Surprisingly, the video did not feature Dhoni’s iconic six that sealed India’s victory in the 2011 World Cup or any of his trademark helicopter shots from his early days. Instead, it focused on his monster hits between 2016 and 2019. The short video, captioned as “vintage Dhoni,” showcased several memorable sixes. Among them, there was one particular shot during the 2019 ODI World Cup against Australia that left Virat Kohli, the current Indian captain, speechless.
Facing a delivery from Mitchell Starc aimed at his pads, Dhoni, with no intention to play a supporting role, unleashed his powerful bottom hand and flicked the ball. The ball sailed 87 meters, landing deep into the stands. The sheer force of the shot evoked an expression of disbelief from Kohli, who stood at the non-striker’s end, witnessing the ball disappearing over the boundary.
Captain. Leader. Legend! 🙌
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 7, 2023
India comfortably won that match and secured a spot in the semi-finals without breaking a sweat. However, Dhoni’s dream of ending his career with another world title remained unfulfilled. In the semi-final against New Zealand in Manchester, India’s batsmen faltered against the pacers in overcast conditions. Despite Dhoni’s best efforts, he was run out by a direct hit from Martin Guptill.
That match marked Dhoni’s final appearance in the Indian colors. The legendary cricketer announced his retirement from international cricket a year later. Throughout his illustrious career spanning 15 years, Dhoni played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs, and 98 T20Is, amassing 4876, 10773, and 1617 runs, respectively. He remains the only captain in the world to have won all three ICC white-ball trophies.
While Dhoni bid farewell to international cricket, he continues to ply his trade in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Just a couple of months ago, he led CSK to their fifth IPL title, matching the record set by Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians.
In conclusion, the multifaceted greatness of MS Dhoni transcends description. Despite numerous attempts through various mediums, words and visuals can only scratch the surface of his extraordinary cricketing journey. As fans and admirers, we can continue to revel in his achievements and celebrate the enigma that is MS Dhoni.