From Captain Cool's school

MAHI WAY!

From Captain Cool's school

The ICC World Cup has grabbed hold of our senses, taking us on an emotional roller-coaster ride. That it’s so close home means every young Indian is able to relate to the event, despite the forthcoming exams and mom’s ferocious frowns.

 The weight of expectations on the Indian team is massive. It’s been 28 years since India won their only World Cup. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team faces the massive task of emulating Kapil’s Devils of 1983. So far, the team is coping with the pressure of performance reasonably well. And full marks to Dhoni, better known as Captain Cool, who is always balanced and in control of his emotions, no matter how tense the situation might be.

In a team sport, and especially in cricket where the leader has such an influential role to play, the unit takes its cue from the captain. If the captain is excitable and prone to emotional fits, it filters down to every member of the side, and reason often gets clouded.

Dhoni is the inspiration, not just for the team he leads but for all you millions of young people across the country, because he has shown that if you have the ability and the determination, then you can destroy stereotypes.

For long, Indian cricket was the bastion of players from established cricketing centres like Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi. The remarkable growth of Dhoni, from the cricketing outpost of Jharkhand, is a tale that many budding cricketers would do well to follow with interest.

 If Dhoni’s face smiles down from almost every hoarding in your city and lights up your living room every time you switch on your television set, it is because he has established himself as one of the top Indian sportspersons.

He isn’t on the billboards and in television commercials only because he is young and smart and super cool (‘awwwsm’ really); his success in making a great deal of fame and fortune is directly linked to success in his chosen vocation, which happens to be the commercially attractive package called cricket.

 Dhoni hasn’t had things all his own way. He’s had to endure taunts and barbs in his formative years as a cricketer. He had to be twice as successful as kids from more affluent cricketing centres to break the mould.

He had to overcome the stigma of being called a ‘freak’ because of his rebellious long hair and his unorthodox, untextbook-like approach to batting.

 Through all the criticism and the derision, he never gave up.  Dhoni was determined to make his mark, but he was also determined to be his own man. His courage of conviction can be frightening sometimes; he never doubted his abilities, and look at where it has got him today!

 In the blinding halo that has been conferred on India’s cricketers, it is easy to forget that no one – not even Sachin Tendulkar – has got to where he is today without putting in the hard yards, making sacrifices, learning commitment and application and hard work, putting team before self but most of all believing in oneself.

Amidst all the hype and brouhaha surrounding the World Cup, it won’t be out of place to step back and reflect on the reasons why our heroes have reached where they have. And use them as inspirations to make our own path. 

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