Yesterday, History repeated itself!!
On Saturday, 2nd April 1983 – Kapil Dev and his devils (as they were called then!) picked up the ICC World Cup trophy for the first time ever, after defeating the then cricket favorites West Indies team!
Indian Cricket Captain ‘Cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni and company defeated the defending champions’ Australian team in the quarter-finals at Motera, arch-rivals Pakistan team in the semi-finals at Mohali and ‘friendly neighborhood’ competitors Sri Lankan boys in the finals yesterday at the Wankhede stadium, Mumbai – to carry the trophy back home, after 6 unsuccessful attempts at the ‘World cup’ elimination rounds over a span of 28 years.
I quote Simon Hughes, Telegraph, London – “Play without fear! – recommends Sachin Tendulkar. His captain MS Dhoni is the definition of that. Unfazed by a highest score in the tournament of just 34, he promoted himself to No. 5 and strode to the crease with the match in the balance at 114-3. With total conviction and complete self-assurance he clipped and chipped, occasionally carved, and ultimately clubbed, his side to handsome victory with a massive six over long on to finish 91 not out. The prolific Tendulkar may be India’s national treasure but Dhoni is their modern icon!!
Dhoni is Mr Confident. But even more so he is Mr Cool. He exudes a kind of karma under the most intense stress. You see it everywhere. Behind the stumps, in press conferences, at the crease. He has a sort of disarming presence that puts everyone at ease. It is this personality that has allowed this talented Indian team to truly flourish. He dissipates pressure. He, and departing coach Gary Kirsten, have created an environment which has enabled India to conquer the world. He is individual and unflappable. He doesn’t play by the rules. He encourages everyone to be themselves. He announces unexpected selections (or non-selections) with a chuckle and a simple explanation, he unveils surprising bowling changes – Tendulkar and Virat Koli had a couple of mid-innings overs yesterday – and he suddenly rejigs the batting order.
He has been responsible for the rejuvenation of Yuvraj Singh, India’s man of the tournament. He gave Yuvraj a key role with the ball and his confidence and prowess returned with the bat. In the most intense situation of all, with India stuttering mid-innings, he poured immediate calm on troubled waters. He took total responsibility, sliding in and setting about the task of seeing his team home. He did so in his own inimitable way….”
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has done it again! His working style would serve to be a management case-study in leadership skills and teamwork! Kapil was a dare-devil, but Dhoni has proved to be a maestro in leadership skills! A modern icon!