The Chennai Superkings skipper is busy breaking records while people quantify his skills into a price bracket. But can a price tag justify the impact of a player like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, not only on the franchise he plays for but the entire league?
The 38-year-old is arguably the best captain after leading Chennai in 174 matches, the most by any captain. His winning percentage of 60.11 is the highest amongst captains who’ve lead at least 100 times and the cherry here are the 3 IPL titles in Chennai’s kitty. The former Indian captain, was the highest bid of the first season when the CSK management spent a whopping $1.5 million to welcome their ‘Thala’ as they call him now and to date, Dhoni is worth every penny spent on him.
The 5 reasons Mahendra Singh Dhoni makes the most valuable asset in the IPL can be listed as:
1) No finisher like this No.7:
Ben Stokes while talking to press last year mentioned M.S.Dhoni as the best finisher he had seen. The English all-rounder said, “He’s one of the world’s greatest finishers who has ever graced the game of cricket. He takes it deep as he possibly can. He is a great person to learn from and watch how he goes about his innings, whether it is setting a total or chasing.”
Every word said makes sense when the CSK skipper comes out, nudges a ball here and there before picking the best bowlers for clean hits. Finishing is not only about hitting sixes but also managing the innings till the last ball. Be it his over criticized innings vs New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals or his 46 balls 75 versus the Rajasthan Royals last year, Dhoni can do it all.
2) Quickest behind the stumps:
With 94 catches and 38 stumpings to his name, M.S.Dhoni is the most successful wicketkeeper the league has seen. He achieved this feat in the 2019 finals against Mumbai Indians when he surpassed Dinesh Karthik who has 131 dismissals to his name. MSD’s speed and awareness behind the stumps are difficult to match. He can have a bad day with the bat but never misses any stumping even by a fraction second and his ‘in between the leg’ run-outs are a dessert to the eyes.
3) Aye Aye Captain:
M.S. Dhoni is a captain who doesn’t only understand the game in-depth but also knows the mindset of all players. The numbers do all the talking when it comes to winning games. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has helped players like Deepak Chahar and Kuldeep Yadav set up the best batsmen and claim wickets from time to time. If there has to be an all-time IPL XI, I’m sure M.S.Dhoni will lead the team.
Keep aside the skill set, ignore all the glorified achievements or even the numbers, one still has so much to talk about the Ranchi based player and one important point is his experience. Dhoni has played 190 matches in the league, battling circumstances and winning matches. If there is a recipe to win a match, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has copyright over it.
5) People, coaches, and players love him:
At the end of the day, what matters the most is the love and respect a cricketer gets, not only from his teammates but also from the opponents. The 38-year-old has his own share of criticisms, but no one can deny the respect he is worthy of as a player and leader. If there’s a decent total to chase and the top order flutters early, a fan looks up to Dhoni with hope because he/she knows about the miracles the CSK skipper can perform.
Remember Virat Kohli’s tweet that read: “A game I can never forget. Special night. This man, made me run like in a fitness test.”