Suyash Srivastava asks the question that is on every Indians lips.
It has been four years since under the captaincy of captain cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India became the champions of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup held in South Africa in 2007. A lot has changed since then. His long locks have turned grey as well as having been shortened. He is no longer single adding to the woes of his female fan following. He has reduced the number of ‘helicopter shots’ which were played in one out of every ten deliveries faced.
What hasn’t changed is that he is still the captain of India. He has so far managed to possess a cool temperament on and off the field under critical circumstances. He has led India to some of the greatest ODI series win abroad. Under his captaincy, India has also reached the number one spot in the ICC test rankings for the first time.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is supposed to be the real test for his leadership skills. It has been a great build up to the World Cup for Dhoni. He scored 108 not out runs off just 64 balls in the second warm up match against New Zealand. But it was the case that the Kiwis bowled very poorly in their encounter with India that helped the skipper score easy boundaries. As they rightly say a captain has to lead by example. Dhoni will have to play more of such innings and contribute as much as he can with the bat as a captain.
The role of a captain is very crucial for winning a tournament. In 1983 Kapil Dev led from the front. Whether it was batting or bowling, he came up with examples that boosted the morale of the entire team. In the final match played against West Indies, apart from scoring crucial 15 runs in a low scoring match he also came up with a cheap bowling spell where he gave just 21 runs off 11 overs and also picked up a wicket.
Therefore apart from taking crucial decisions, Dhoni will have to play a key role with the bat. He will have to play innings that can become a part of the beautiful memories of the Indian fans which would be cherished forever in case if India lifts the trophy for the first time since 1983.
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