Keeping it simple is Dhoni's mantra

India's most successful skipper rues the absence of bowling all-rounder

Keeping it simple is Dhoni's mantra

 MS Dhoni is just two matches away from lifting the coveted World Cup for the second time in a row but irrespective of whether India defend their title successfully or not, his name will be taken along with the best of captains that cricket has seen in its long history.

Dhoni added another impressive feat to his already impressive CV by becoming only the third player in the world to win 100 ODIs as captain after India crushed Bangladesh in the quarterfinal at the MCG on Thursday. Only Ricky Ponting and Allan Border have more ODI wins than Dhoni.

It’s been a fascinating journey for the man from Jharkhand who has seen many ups and downs in his captaincy tenure and he has taken both of them with the equanimity of a sage. The other day, Mohammad Shami perhaps paid one of finest tributes to Dhoni the captain when the paceman said he was lucky to have made his India debut under him.
One of the secrets to his unprecedented success, Dhoni felt, has been his ability to keep things simple.  

“I think one of the most difficult things to do is to keep it simple,” he said of his approach. “You start assessing everything because being human beings that's what we do better than some of the other animals. We are good thinkers and overthinking can actually kill you in an environment like this where there's already so much pressure, especially if you are part of the Indian cricket team.

It's not only about doing well on the field. When you go out, you have to have a proper dinner otherwise the camera gets you there, also. It's a mix of everything, but keeping it simple helps. Playing good cricket and what it does, it just keeps your confidence going forward, just increases your confidence initially every game, and you just feel a bit more relaxed when you're executing your plans. It's a mix of everything, and I feel so far we have done well to keep it simple,” he explained.

Talking about his journey, especially as the ODI captain, Dhoni made no big deal of his achievements and setbacks, and felt at the end of the day it all evens out.“In ODIs the problem is you have a lot of scope for recovery,” he began. “In a bilateral series suppose you have five matches, if you lose two, you can win three. But overall, your record keeps going up and down.

When I captained for the first time, we'd played against Australia in India. We lost that series. So it keeps going up and down. We have struggled quite a bit as well. For some time we didn't have death bowlers. The exceptionally quick fast bowlers that we had couldn't land the ball in one spot. And those that could land the ball in one spot weren't quick.

“So we have endured quite a bit. It's been five years that we've been saying we need an all-rounder and we're still looking for one. We felt what's not there is not there. We'll make do with what we have. It's been quite interesting. We've seen a lot of ups and downs. In 2007 I wasn't the captain but we didn't qualify for the next stage of the World Cup and that was a very depressing phase. But cricket shows you everything.

It's a great leveller. It takes you around and brings you back to the same spot. You learn to respect things more; you respect them more than you did the first time you were there.”

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