MS Dhoni: Passion, hard work, and patience

“Pressure is when you are a ticket collector in a crowded train at Kharagpur station, playing cricket is much easier,” this is what Dhoni said to Rajdeep Sardesai when he asked him how he dealt with pressure. This describes his passion for cricket and how his love for the game defeated pressure.  Many cricketers can give stiff competition to Dhoni on cricketing skills, but when it comes to dealing with pressure nobody could dare to compete with the captain cool. A down-to-earth person, Dhoni’s personality possess a blend of generosity, and tranquillity. He also retired from cricket in a simple and cool way – just posting a video and a lucid message to say goodbye to cricket. He didn’t go for a farewell match like most of the players do, and nor he retired in the middle of the series that would have given headaches to Indian selectors.

From fans, under-19 players to senior players, Dhoni always treated people with humility. Be it letting Sourav Ganguly to lead India in his farewell match or calling Ian Bell back to the crease (in the famous runout controversy), his gestures have even made opposing teams and fans give him a standing ovation. It’s his this exemplary personality that differentiates him from others cricketers and inspires his followers to live an exemplary life.

Unfortunately, today’s youth don’t possess these qualities. They are obsessed with money. For them, money is more important than passion. As the famous Russian proverb goes, “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” Our youth, for whom the world is a materialistic thing, finally end up with depression. And they become social media poets posting depressing posts, and dismayed pics. Dhoni wasn’t among them. He joined railways but he never gave up his dream of representing Indian cricket team.

A local boy belonging to a scorned state of Jharkhand, Dhoni’s life is also full of  struggles like any other common man. But unlike them, Dhoni never gave up on his dreams. His struggle didn’t cease when he got selected for the Indian team. He didn’t perform well in his debut match and his string of low scores continued in next matches. Fingers were pointed at selectors for selecting him, and he was on the brink of being dropped from the side, but he remained unruffled. In the next match with dancing long hair, he went to the crease to prove his opponents wrong. He scored a scintillating 148 runs of just 123 deliveries, and broke the earlier record for the highest score by an Indian wicket-keeper.

This splendid performance earned him great accolades. While many were parodying his cricketing skills, youngsters were aping his hairstyle. However, his form went down, and he didn’t perform well in the world cup. Thanks to that, his house was attacked by the cricket fans.

However, he continued to remain cool and worked hard to improve his cricketing skills. And thereafter, his bat spoke volumes about his cricketing skills, and his sharp wicket keeping set the high definition cameras & umpires on toes. Thanks to that, he was elected as the captain of the Indian cricket team. Under him, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.

From being a ticket collector to lifting the cricket world cup, Dhoni’s life not only speaks about his excellent cricketing skills but also about passion, hard work, & patience. While budding cricketers will learn to play innovative shots like helicopter shot, sharp wicket-keeping skills, and running between the wickets from him, as a cherry on top they will also learn how to chase dreams. Be it his life, or a cricket match, Dhoni never gave up. With dedication he achieved this success. We should always try to replicate his skills in our lives, and we will also achieve success like him.

Younis Ahmad Dar works at Greater Kashmir. (Email Id: younis.a.dar@gmail.com)