Generally when we talk about MS Dhoni, we talk about the fact that he has probably been the greatest captain and the greatest wicket-keeper batsman to have ever played for India. But, we often forget that the former Indian captain was also pretty good at setting trends.
Some of the things that MS Dhoni started doing as a batsman, as a wicket-keeper and as a captain, those things were hardly ever done by anyone else before.
Here are the 5 cricketing trends which were started by MS Dhoni –
#1 Taking one glove off in the death overs
Whenever the match reached a stage where Dhoni felt that the opposition batsman, after missing the ball, could look for a bye, he would remove his right glove so that he could throw the ball towards the stumps with precision in case the batsman tried to steal a run in the form of a bye.
Dhoni would do it because a wicket-keeper doesn’t have the control over the direction of the ball if he throws the ball with the gloves on and it’s very much possible in that case that he would miss the stumps. Removing the gloves, on the contrary, helps the wicket-keeper have more control over the direction of his throw.
#2 Playing the helicopter shot:
Helicopter shot was the biggest revelation in white ball cricket in the last decade or so. A few years back, the bowlers, while bowling in the death, had just one plan and that was to bowl into the blockhole of the batsman.
But, Dhoni’s helicopter shot started negating the effects of blockhole bowling. Dhoni would use the depth of the crease and would, somehow, get under the yorker length deliveries. And, he wouldn’t just get under the yorkers, he would often generate enough power into the shots as well with his strong wrists.
#3 Using his leg behind the stumps:
A wicket-keeper’s glove work is often under the scrutiny behind the stumps, but nobody pays enough attention to the wicket-keeper’s leg.
But, Dhoni realized he could use his leg to great effects as well, behind the stumps. He started stretching his right leg while making collections against the spinners just to make sure if the batsman got an edge and he couldn’t collect the ball because of the deflection, the ball would hit his stretched right leg and wouldn’t go for a four behind him.
That unique method has actually helped Dhoni block quite a few edges off the bowling of the spinners over the years.
#4 Using the spinners with the new ball:
There were instances of a few captains using the spinners early on in the innings in the past as well, but Dhoni started doing it on a regular basis when he took over the captaincy of India and the CSK.
Dhoni’s plan to use the off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin against Chris Gayle with the new ball in the final of IPL 2010 turned out to be a masterstroke as Ashwin removed an in-form and very dangerous Gayle cheaply and CSK went on to win the IPL for the first time ever.
#5 Giving the trophy to the youngest player in the team:
You would hardly ever see Dhoni in the front row of the trophy celebrations. Whenever he wins a trophy as a captain, he just collects the trophy from the dignitaries and hands it over to the youngest player in the team. Dhoni would then often disappear among the bunch of players.
You would struggle to find Dhoni in any of the team photos after the trophy presentation ceremonies.