World Cup: Dhoni becomes third captain to get 100 ODI wins

  • Reuters, Melbourne
  • Updated: Mar 19, 2015 23:10 IST

Mahendra Singh Dhoni may never match the mountain of runs, nor enjoy the same fanatical following as Sachin Tendulkar, but he does have one thing over his former teammate.

When it comes to captaining India's one-day international cricket team, Dhoni is in a class of his own.

Leading the most popular team in the world's biggest democracy is a burden that has proved too much for many of his predecessors, but Dhoni has excelled in the role.

Since taking over from Rahul Dravid in 2007, Dhoni has led India to every major title in world cricket, including the World Cup, the Twenty20 World Cup and the Champions Trophy.

Four years ago, he fulfilled the dreams of a billion people when he lead India to victory in the 2011 World Cup at home, scoring an unbeaten 91 in the final, and now he is on course to possibly do it again.

On Thursday, he guided his team into the semi-finals of this year's World Cup with a 109-run romp over Bangladesh. The result was expected but also marked a major milestone.

He became just the third captain, and the first Indian, to lead his country to 100 ODI wins, joining the Australian pair of Ricky Ponting and Allan Border.

Typically, Dhoni played down his achievement, focussing on his team, that seemed to be in disarray just over a month ago but have rebounded at the perfect time.

"It's always tough. Nothing is easy," Dhoni said when asked how his team turned things around.

"It's just that when you've won the game, you tend to brush everything under the carpet, but what's important is to still keep improving in those areas.

"So whatever we have not done right in this game, we would like to do it properly in the next one. That's what it's all about. It's nothing like a magic wand where you just wave it and it comes in your favour."

India's success at the World Cup is no small part due to Dhoni's calming influence.

Less than three months ago, his own future seemed uncertain when he surprisingly quit as test captain, but he vowed to stay on as one-day captain, sticking to his philosophy of keeping things simple and dealing with the pressure on him.

"I think one of the most difficult things to do is to keep it simple," he said. "You start assessing everything because being human beings, that's what we do better than some of the other animals.

"We are good thinkers and overthinking can actually kill you, especially in an environment like this where there's already so much pressure, especially if you are part of the Indian cricket team.

"It's not only about doing well on the field."

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