Today if an ever-larger number of Indian players are hailing from small towns, it is because Dhoni opened the doors for them: Shashi Tharoor

Today if an ever-larger number of Indian players are hailing from small towns, it is because Dhoni opened the doors for them: Shashi Tharoor

Tharoor applauded the impeccable leading style of the former captain.

Shashi Tharoor and MS Dhoni
Shashi Tharoor and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

One of the most loved cricketers of India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni finally said goodbye to the blue jersey. He didn’t play for over a year for India but the love people have for him will never die. The fans were waiting for him to come back even after knowing that being away from cricket at this age for such a long time meant the undesirable news was around the corner. Finally, the worst possible agony came true on the evening of India’s 74th Independence day.

Shashi Tharoor, one of the renowned politicians of India is one of those fans. He penned down his experience of how Dhoni the inborn leader inspired him throughout his 16-year career. The politician praised Dhoni’s values and his virtues as he bid adieu to his beloved game on his own term. He also mentioned how the former Indian stumper said goodbye to Test cricket silently in 2014 and followed the same in 2020 while retiring from the International cricket.

I knew I would follow this young man forever: Shashi Tharoor

Tharoor said that when Dhoni came into the picture for India, he was in United Nations and did not see much of the small-town boy. But the first scene of the Ranchi lad was his terrific knock-in Jaipur in 2005 when he was sent up the order to chase down 299 against Sri Lanka. He scored 183 and demolished the Lankan attack by his ultra-aggressive style and simplicity of his aura.

While applauding the innings in his column for ‘The Quint’, Tharoor wrote, “He dominated the ground like some giant gladiator in a Coliseum, wielding his bat as a rapier, scalpel and bludgeon, clouting a match-winning 183 not out that enabled India to win with four overs to spare. 120 of his runs came in just 25 balls, with 15 searing fours and ten immense sixes. I was going back to the UN but I knew I would follow this young man forever.”

‘Dhoni opened the doors for small-town boys’

Tharoor applauded the impeccable leading style of the former captain who became full-time captain of the team before completing three years in international cricket. He is also the only captain to win all three ICC events.

“Dhoni presided over a major revival of Indian cricket – a team of talents who could compete well but only rarely win were welded by him into world-beaters. Under his captaincy, it seemed India was capable of winning any match it played, against any opponent,” he said.

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Dhoni’s struggle of coming to the Indian team is a story in itself as well. A railway employee with limited resources became the biggest poster boy of the Indian cricket team. He is often known as the idol of anybody who belongs to a small town.

Tharoor wrote, “Today if an ever-larger number of Indian players are hailing from small towns and obscure backwater states, it is because Dhoni opened the doors for them.”

‘He ended his career as he had begun it’

Apart from being a great all-time captain, Dhoni was a magician with the bat as well. His long and dominant sixes were incomparable. His ability to run between the wickets with the same stamina till the last ball was also one of the vital points of his career. Tharoor concluded his opinion by acclaiming the great batsmanship of a player who will go down in history as one of the greatest sportsmen born in India.

“Not only did he lead the team to several unlikely wins through his batting, but he also ended with an ODI average above 50, something that only a handful have been able to achieve, and none in as many matches as he played. Sadly he ended his career as he had begun it, with a run-out, after making 50 in the 2019 World Cup semi-final defeat by New Zealand,” he concluded.