By: Keyur Seta
Yesterday’s India v/s Bangladesh match in the ongoing World T20 would be remembered for many reasons. India’s not-so-impressive batting exhibition, Bangladesh’s fearlesslessness, India’s shocking drop catches, the visitors’ throwing away of wickets, Hardik Pandya’s courageous last over and, lastly, Bangladesh batsmen’s suicide in the fourth and fifth ball of the final over.
But one man who stood between Bangladesh and victory was India’s captain cool, Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his captaincy and wicket-keeping. In fact, if there was Man of the Match Award in any of the two categories, there would be very few candidates ahead of Dhoni. His mind-blowing stumping and the runout of the last ball will remain as historic moments of the game for time immemorial.
But apart from being a great finisher, one of the finest keepers and a super intelligent captain, Dhoni has always showed signs of him being a truly spiritual self. And this was visible the most in yesterday’s match in reasons more than one.
Here they are:-
Calm under calamity: Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India has been through matches that can give severe anxiety attacks to any player. Examples – 2007 T20 World Cup Final against Pakistan and yesterday’s match. But even in the most nail-biting moments, Dhoni remains as calm as a cucumber. One can’t find a trace of anxiety, tension or stress bothering him. This is a very, very rare quality indeed and the ones possessing it are no ordinary humans. They are truly spiritual.
Fearless: Expectations from team India are always sky high. When more than 120 million people can’t bear defeat and are ready to pounce on you if you lose, such pressure can produce a great fear of the consequences of defeat. But Dhoni doesn’t fall anywhere near to this category of people. He seems to believe in the saying in the Gita, “Karam kar, phal ki chinta na kar.”
Self-sacrifice: More than a decade ago when Dhoni made his debut, he either used to open the innings or bat at number 3. He scored some big hundreds batting at the top, with his highest score being a mammoth 183 not out v/s Sri Lanka. But a couple of years later as he became the captain, he dropped himself at number 7, just to get the team balance right. His total number of runs and centuries would have been way higher if he batted at the top but he didn’t for the sake of the team. One of the biggest self-sacrifices ever seen in the game!
Humble: Despite being one of the most successful captains and a legendary cricketer, Dhoni continues to be humble, as is seen from his numerous interviews. His manner of interacting is the same as it was when he made his debut. His humility is seen more when, after lifting a trophy, he just gives it away to his team members to enjoy. As Swami Vivekananda said, “A person who is strong but humble is loved by people and revered in true sense.”
Controlled happiness: Now, this is one of the biggest examples of a spiritual mind, which is unfazed even by huge amounts of joy. The line in the Gita, “Consider pain and pleasure equal,” simply means that one should be unaffected by loss as well as victory. It signifies a strong and peaceful mind, just like Dhoni’s. Even after winning the 2011 World Cup for India by hitting a six, Dhoni was calm and just smiled while Yuvraj Singh was screaming with happiness at the other end.
I don’t know which philosophy Mahi follows. Would love to know though.