No cricket fan could ever forget the year of 2007 as it took Indian cricket through its two most extreme phases. One, where a well-prepared Team India led by an experienced Rahul Dravid was kicked out of the 50-over World Cup in the first round itself, and second, when a first time Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni along with a bunch of youngsters went on to win the inaugural T20 World Cup.
The T20 WC win was the beginning of a new innings for Team India as it then emerged as the Champions in 2011 under the same Captain – MS Dhoni.
Lifting the team up from its lowest ever point, MS Dhoni proved himself as the most successful Indian captain and the only skipper in the Cricket history to clinch all the ICC trophies – World Cup, Champions Trophy and T20 World Cup. It is because of his tremendous contribution to Indian Cricket, that a full-fledged Bollywood film is made on the life of the Ranchi boy.
However, it wasn’t a cakewalk for him to make his way up to here. When Team India faced a shameful exit in the 2007 WC, Dhoni was at the receiving end of the anger of millions for not living up to the expectations of many.
At a recent promotional event of his biopic, MS Dhoni – The Untold Story, India’s limited overs Captain recounted the most challenging time of his career, dubbing it as the turning point of his life.
He said, "When we landed in Delhi after 2007 WC debacle, there was a lot of media. At times, people feel that we are not emotional enough about it, but I always felt, as a sports person, you have to be strong enough to go through everything and it has to be within yourself. It is not about coming for a press conference and crying about stuff, or crying in the field about what has happened."
"At that point of time, when we landed, we had to get out in a police van. I was sitting next to Viru paaji (Virender Sehwag). It was evening or night time. We were travelling at a decent speed - 60 or 70 kms - and that's quite a bit for India, that too on the narrow roads. And, you know, media cars around us with their cameras and the big lights on top, it felt as if we had committed a big crime, maybe like a murderer or terrorist or something. We were actually chased by them.”
"After a while, we entered a police station. We went there, we sat for a while and then we left in our cars after 15-20 minutes," he narrated.
Not just this, furious over Mahi, fans pelted stones at his home in Ranchi.
“That actually had a big impact on me and I channelised the aggression to become a better cricketer and a better human being,” said Dhoni.
And that’s how we got our Captain Cool.