There's something about Dhoni
One thing Monty Panesar will do when he gets back to England is put up Mahendra Singh Dhoni's picture on a wall at home. After all, the Indian salvaged Panesar's reputation by offering him a second catch after he had made a spectacle of himself in failing to take the first one in the Mumbai Test.
But before Dhoni's momentary lapse of logic in Wednesday’s heat at Wankhede, before his first brush with cricketing notoriety, he was voted the top sports icon in an HT Style-C Fore survey.
A total of 208 boys and girls in the 16-25 year age-group, when asked who the force was with in the athletic arena, named the sponta neous 24-year-old from Ranchi. This wasn’t surprising, especially since the poll was conducted before he emerged among the players responsible for India’s defeat. Dhoni has all the features that make a star.
Greg Chappell doesn't fall in the 16-25 age group. But even he feels admiration for Dhoni (albeit, the pre-Wankhede version).
"He has no fear," the Indian coach said about the wicket-keeper batsman who, however, has some catching up to do as a stumper.
This absence of trepidation makes Dhoni special. He shows no sign of stress. In fact, there is often a hint of a smile. Rock star meets Vivekananda, that's his personality. At the Wankhede, an Andrew Flintoff delivery that crashed into his helmet.
After being struck, he stood mo tionless for a fraction, then faced the world again. While being administered first aid, he started grinning. Hey, Flintoff bowls around 85 mph. Grinning is the last thing you would expect anyone to do after being hit by him. But, that's Dhoni. The player is not just popular among the young. Everyone loves his unfettered strokes, the most distinctive of which is the horizontal batted tennisstyle swat. Dhoni seems to be a guy who would still listen if someone knowledgeable told him a few things about his game. He exudes confidence and sincerity. That is rare.