MS Dhoni has recently called it a day on his illustrious international career via an Instagram post. Even though Dhoni last played in the Indian blue more than a year ago, still most of us are having trouble coming to terms with this announcement. Known for his calm demeanour on and off the pitch, Dhoni is a reserved person and only the people in his inner circle know what he is like.
Unlike his predecessors and his successor, MS Dhoni doesn’t always grab the headlines with fiery statements in interviews or press conferences, but he remains quite witty and some of his one-liners are motivational as well. To bid adieu to the greatest ever white-ball captain India has ever had, we look at the seven best Dhoni quotes over the years.
“God is not coming to save us.”
For this, we’ll have to go back to 2013 when India took on England in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy. In a rain-curtailed match, India posted a modest total of 129 in the allocated 20 overs. It seemed impossible to defend in those conditions and these are situations where the best of MS Dhoni comes out. In the huddle before taking to the field for the second innings, Dhoni came up with the above one-liner. These words of wisdom by Mahi helped his team go the extra mile for their country and helped India clinch their third major ICC trophy in the reign of Dhoni.
“Another 20 days and you can apply for citizenship.”
This sentence brings out the witty nature of MS Dhoni during press conferences. India toured Australia in 2014-15 and that was one of the longest tours a visiting team has ever had. The tour which started in late November went on till the second week of January. Tired of the gruelling long tour and the endless press conferences, this was how Dhoni summarised his feelings at the end of the tour.
“Frankly, I never thought I would represent my country one day. Now I’m leading my country so it’s like a fairytale. I live in the moment and don’t think much about the future. I keep working hard and enjoy the present.”
MS Dhoni’s journey into becoming what he is currently is well portrayed in various interviews and his biopic. He played cricket because he enjoyed being on the field and that got the best out of him. He never thought of leading India in major ICC events and always concentrated on the present. Dhoni has always said that he only looks to control the controllable and results follow. This is a mantra many can learn from and gives us a beautiful insight into the mind of the maestro.
“Whenever we have played with four fast bowlers, two things happen. One, the captain gets banned, two we lose.”
MS Dhoni never beats around the bush when he is talking tactics. It’s the straight forward approach and the honesty in his words which makes him such a likeable character. His one-liners are classics and this particular one also got a smile on our faces. Known more as a spinners captain in Test cricket, Dhoni never had the luxury of playing four top-quality fast bowlers as the current Indian team has. On occasions when he did so, the repercussions were such that the boy from Ranchi was happy to attack with his spinners.
“I’ll just ask Mahela (Jayawardene) if he will lend (Ajantha) Mendis for a couple of practice sessions.”
Back in the days when Ajantha Mendis had burst onto the international scene, the Indians had no idea what the off-spinner was up to with his variations. To make matters easy, Dhoni thought the best way to figure him out would be to call him up for one of the net sessions with the Indian team. Yup, that was the plan, though we are sure the Sri Lankan cricket board wasn’t too keen on this particular practice session.
“We are told that Mumbai is a city which is always on the move. See, my boys and I have brought the entire city to a standstill today.”
This famous quote came after India became the world’s first T20I champions. In 2007, MS Dhoni led a very young team, who weren’t expected to do much in the tournament, to an unlikely victory and we all know how the T20 snowball hit India post that. The team was flying down to Mumbai from South Africa and there was supposed to be an open bus tour in the city. Millions gathered in the streets of Mumbai despite torrential rains to welcome the newly-crowned World Champions and Dhoni absolutely adored the reception he got from the fans in Mumbai. We all know what happened after the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Seems like Dhoni and Mumbai are deeply connected.
“You die, you die. You don’t see which is the better way to die.”
This was one of the lowest moments of MS Dhoni’s captaincy. In 2011-12, India suffered back-to-back whitewashes in England and Australia in Test cricket. But his wit doesn’t go away even in difficult circumstances. This was an honest and straightforward statement, exactly what ’Thala’ is known for. The manner of the defeats didn’t matter but the results did. He famously told VVS Laxman that when the whole team is down on morale, he as a captain can’t show any remorse or disappointment as that’s not going to help anybody. This tells us what a brilliant man-manager Dhoni was in his time as the captain.
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