There have been better and more influential captains in Indian cricket. But M.S. Dhoni has carved a special place for himself as the man under whom India reached No. 1. Over to him:
On becoming No. 1
Of course it’s a dream come true. If you do well everytime the ratings take care of themselves. There have been games where individuals stood up and did well. One good thing was that we saw the same team play in more and more games. There were not too many injuries and we were playing with almost the best side available. It is a result of good preparation and execution of plans on the field for the last 18-20 months.
On his philosophy
We believe in short-term goals. I can see immediate effects so I am a person who likes to live in the present. The tougher it is to get into the side the best it is for the individuals who get into the side because it means you have to grind yourself in domestic cricket.
It is like you are ready for international cricket when you are part of the side.
Personally, I don’t think it is about the golden touch but about what the players do on the field. Otherwise you would see non-playing captains more often than not. As a captain, what you are doing is picking batsmen or bowlers who you think will be suited to a particular situation and hope it clicks. Captaincy is more about man-management. It is about channelling the inputs and efforts of your players for a maximum output.
The Sehwag show
I don’t believe in rating players but he (Virender Sehwag) is one of the greatest. He plays Test cricket in a very different way and his mentality is different.
The way he goes into a game that is also very different. I think he is one of a kind. It will be very difficult for someone to follow him.
He is a very confident guy and he knows his areas and when to get the anchors down.
If he isn’t feeling well about his innings he will give a bit of time to the bowlers but it is not long before he starts hitting.
He is a very aggressive cricketer, a very thinking cricketer at the same time and his formula works only for him.