The charismatic MS Dhoni-led India through the better part of the decade and under his leadership India went on to script some of the most memorable heists in their storied history.
On the night of 2nd April 2011, MS Dhoni promoted himself ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh, a move that proved to be a masterstroke- as he scored a brilliant 78-ball 91 before finishing off the final of the World Cup with a six over long-on.
And, by doing that MS Dhoni not only ended Indias 28-year-long wait but he also joined the legendary Kapil Dev as the only two captains who led the Men in Blue to World Cup glory.
Apart from marshaling his troops, MS Dhoni scripted some of the most epic finishes that one has ever seen in ODI cricket, be it his humungous six off Clint McCay at the Adelaide Oval during the 2012 CB series that helped India chase down 12 runs off the last four deliveries or the 15 runs he scored in the 2013 Celkon Mobile Cup tri-series final against Sri Lanka.
Post the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni built a new limited-overs team from scratch, in which he promoted Rohit Sharma to the top of the order alongside Shikhar Dhawan besides forging a spin-duo in the form of Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. He then proceeded to lead India to Champions Trophy triumph in England in the summer of 2013- a tournament in which India did not drop a single game.
“I think it’s really important and significant that MS Dhoni has won a World Cup and a Champions Trophy. That World Cup for me, that’s a real big milestone,” Matthew Hayden told Star Sports on ‘Cricket Connected’
“I have mentioned it before we have played loads of cricket in the one-day format and I just feel that when it comes to being ready for a World Cup, you not only got to have a good leader but you also need to have a calm strong player in the middle order like he has,” he added.
Post-2015, Dhoni’s batting skills began to vane and with Virat Kohli having settled into his role as the captain of the Test team, he handed over the reins of the white-ball teams to the latter in early 2017. Dhoni still continued to remain a vital part of the team; often helping Virat with field-placements, DRS besides giving some invaluable tips to spinners behind the stumps.
His batting ability may have declined but MSD still continued to find a way to contribute to teams ’cause with the bat. He was the ‘Player of the Series’ in India’s maiden bilateral ODI series win in Australia in 2019. Dhoni’s final ODI turned out to be the semi-final of the World Cup where he was tragically run-out. MSD called curtains on his decorated career on Independence Day 2020. He has been nominated for the ICC ‘ODI Player Of The Decade’ alongside Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.