Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Is Dhoni the new Ricky Ponting?

Well yesterday, the Indian captain and to be more precise at present, the Chennai Superkings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is all set to take the stage in the finals of the Indian Premier League for the third time and second time in succession. Likewise, he is the only captain and his team is the only team (obviously) to have made it to the semi finals (qualifiers this time around) of an IPL. This was something that only Dhoni can boast of and nobody else. Dhoni has all reasons and his team all the odds to make it two in a row.

With just four editions of the Indian Premier League gone and with ten teams at present to compete, there are teams in the waiting as well to gain atleast one such title. Dhoni on one side should be lucky to have beaten the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the right time when just a couple of days ago the same RCB destroyed the Chennai Superkings by 8 wickets. The venue hardly matters when the country is foreign to all non Indian players and local to players from India who have played in almost every venue that hosted matches in the IPL.

It was just more than a month ago that India-under the captaincy of the same Dhoni won the world cup at Wankhade stadium that set so many records and just 8 months ago that lifted the champions league trophy where they met the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the semi-finals like yesterday. Notable feathers in Dhoni's cap would be the inaugural edition of the world T20 at South Africa, runners-up in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League, winners in the 2010 IPL and finalists of the current edition of the IPL (which would see them may be as runners-up or winners).

I can just correlate this feat of Dhoni's to the former Aussie captain-Ricky Ponting who has has many tournament wins against his name when he captained the Australian team since the retirement of Steve Waugh in 2002. Notable achievements of Ponting include the two major world cup titles in 2003 and 2007, two ICC champions trophies in 2006 and 2009, beating India (in India) 2-1 in the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2004, 5-0 whitewash of England in Ashes 2007 and finally winning 21 one dayers at a stretch and 16 consecutive test matches. This can rarely be paralleled but one can see a glimpse of the same in Dhoni.

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