IPL 2013: MS Dhoni has shaped the fortunes of Chennai Super Kings with the power of his personality

Not many would have given Dhoni a chance to survive the rigours of international cricket given his awkward technique, yet he continues to dazzle © IANS

Chennai Super Kings and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have a lot in common. Nishad Pai Vaidya unravels Dhoni’s personality and how it has shaped Chennai into the most successful side in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s fearlessness approach has powered the Men in Yellow script a tale of success and dominance spreading across six seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In every sense, Chennai exemplify their leader — be it their approach to the game or their spirit when the chips are down.

Dhoni’s story is the ultimate Indian fairytale. He personifies the spirited verve and the dreams of young Indians, especially those coming from smaller cities. Who would have thought a boy from Ranchi would go on to become India’s most successful captain? A young boy with big dreams beat the odds and to touch dizzying heights on world stage. Such tales were only plausible in Bollywood flicks until Dhoni emerged to show that impossible is nothing.

Graduating to the highest level is one thing, but maintaining ones dominance is the true test of character. Not many would have given Dhoni a chance to survive the rigours of international cricket given his awkward technique, yet he continues to dazzle. It is his typical resilience and the tenacity to adapt that has helped him overcome the hurdles. The feared hitter has learnt to temper his game according to the situation and has become a dependable bet in crunch situations.

All the traits and qualities discussed above are prevalent in Chennai’s dominant run across all seasons of the IPL. They have the most balanced sides in the tournament and more of than not tend to produce their best cricket when the odds are stacked against them.

In 2010, they had to win their last league game to qualify for the semi-finals. The game boiled down to the last over. “Captain Cool” took matters in his own hands and ensured his side went through. What happened later is history. In 2011, their title defence was a bit shaky early on, but they fought back to clinch another IPL.

However, their most astonishing run was in the IPL 2012. They were down and almost out for the count, only to find a backdoor entry into the play-offs. With that lease of life, they crossed the next two hurdles to make it to their third successive IPL final. Dhoni may be destiny’s favourite child, but — as the cliché goes — fortune only favours the brave.

It isn’t only in their unbelievable campaigns that they signify Dhoni, but even in their style of play. There is a touch of exuberance combined with much-needed stability. The confidence and calmness the players exude in crisis situations is typical of Dhoni — toughness of character under intense pressure.

Like their leader, the team too leave the final assault rather late. While it is a ploy that could backfire, Dhoni and his troops have got it right on most occasions. Even when Dhoni isn’t at the crease, they back themselves to get about 50-60 runs in the last five overs. That speaks a lot about their belief.

Chennai Super Kings have the “X-factor” that sets them apart from the rest. It’s a team of multi-skilled players who have forged into a champion unit that come through the most challenging situations. And the biggest factor in shaping their fortunes is the monk-like Mahendra Singh Dhoni who has led from the front — literally and figuratively.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/nishad_44)