It is the hallmark of a true leader to back up his team-mates even in the worst of his days and bring out the best in them. Not everyone can power a packed performance in this scenario as at times, situations aren’t really favourable always for the captain. However, there are once again a few exceptions to this dogma, as greats of the game have exemplified that how patience and belief in a player from his leader can unleash a stellar performance even in the worst of his cricketing days.
As it is MS Dhoni’s birthday, this article will be a celebration of Captain Cool’s belief in players who weren’t doing well initially but an investment of faith and time showed that how exactly Dhoni unfurled the maximum out of these players by merely supporting them.
1. Rohit Sharma
Sharma is currently one of India’s finest cricketers, as his batting flair at the top of the innings has helped India win crucial matches.
However, his efflorescence on the international cricketing scene wasn’t really phenomenal. He struggled a lot and was mainly a hard-hitter, filling in the gap at number 5 or 6. However, whenever the situation demanded him to be calm and play a composed anchor to the innings, it was an arrant fiasco.
Despite not doing good enough, Dhoni still managed to vouch for the Hitman day in day out and finally promoted him up the order once Gambhir and Sehwag were out of the equation. This move changed Sharma once and forever, as India’s new batting maestro, specialising in hooks and pulls, bombed down the scene in the most scintillating fashion.
2. Ravindra Jadeja
An imperative moniker in the 2008 U-19 team that helped India to secure the youth World Cup, Jadeja hogged the limelight with his brilliant leg-break bowling.
However, his encounter with the initial fire of baptism didn’t really go well. Dhoni chipped in here with his brains as he suggested that Jadeja’s batting ability can be a major reason for him to be a part of the squad.
His performances in the red-ball format significantly improved and as time elapsed his fielding skills turned absolutely airtight.
Another star was born.
3. Ishant Sharma
Though the towering fast bowler has now been reduced only to the longest format of the game, Sharma was a major force for the Indian bowling line up at one point in time in all the formats that he was a part of.
That magical over bowled by Ishant in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy helped India seal a thriller in one of the biggest games. That broad grin on Dhoni’s face was absolutely mesmerizing.
4. Suresh Raina
Despite showing signs of an early promise, Raina started ebbing away to oblivion, owing to his weakness against short balls.
However, Dhoni showered unwavering support on the southpaw, despite him failing to showcase consistency. Raina did pay back Dhoni’s faith but it was in bits and pieces.
5. Shikhar Dhawan
Given his current consistency in cricket, Dhawan is one of India’s pillar of success in batting. However, he showed considerable frailty in his initial days, as he was struggling with form way too frequently.
Dhoni didn’t let the southpaw lose his mojo as he did discover his hard hand in batting and Dhawan continues to show until this day that what can support from a leader in your darkest days turn you into.
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