The One Liner

The Dhoni Legacy-8 Compelling Reasons He Dominates as a Captain


In this article, we dive deep into the enigmatic world of MS Dhoni, unravelling the  remarkable traits that make him define him as the greatest captain of all time.

Let's dive right in..

It’s a do-or-die match; pressure is building up; there is one ball for two runs, and things look impossible, but there comes a very calm and composed Indian Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Maybe this is what runs through his mind,

It’s a do-or-die match; pressure is building up; there is one ball for two runs, and things look impossible, but there comes a very calm and composed Indian Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Maybe this is what runs through his mind,

And he hit the stumps and won the 2016 Asia World Cup against Bangladesh. 

MS Dhoni’s lightning-quick reflexes and the skills of a master mesmerises the audience and always sends the opposition into a tailspin.

That sets him apart from all his contemporaries and makes him one of the greatest captains ever.

If you're a cricket fan, you know it all.

He has redefined the role of a wicketkeeper-batsman, showcasing a level of finesse that few can match. Be it helicopter shots, or his extraordinary athletic abilities to run between the wickets, Dhoni can do it all. 

But Dhoni is not just about the Helicopter shots or the countless number of records he holds.

Dhoni embodies the spirit of resilience, determination, and grace under pressure. He has faced triumphs and setbacks, leading his team to glorious victories and shouldering the weight of expectations with unwavering composure. 

One of his greatest contributions is not only winning all international tournaments such as World Cup 2011, Champions Trophy 2013, the first edition T20 World Cup 2008, and Asia Cup 2016, but also his ability to captain the team of all legendary players, access the challenges and perform best of your abilities when it looks impossible to win the match, access the condition, keep looking for opportunities beyond the cricket,  are something that only a few leaders can achieve the same. 

So, as we celebrate the legacy of MS Dhoni, let’s take a moment to appreciate the leadership skills of this man behind the wickets!

Have you ever wondered what made Dhoni?

Or what level of leadership style does he possess, or what are his best achievements?

Let’s get started!

We have answered a few frequently asked questions below:

M S Dhoni

What is the journey of M S Dhoni?

MS Dhoni’s journey is nothing short of a captivating tale that inspires generations. 

From a small-town boy to a cricketing icon, Dhoni’s rise to greatness is a testament to his unwavering determination and resilience.  


Leaders are slaves of geography.”

Well, MS Dhoni didn’t quite agree with that and became one of the most fantastic Indian cricket captains, coming from a place where news of the emergence of leaders is rarely heard.

Like a phoenix emerging from the ashes, he transformed his dreams into reality through sheer hard work and passion.

His journey is well-depicted in the movie – MSD- An Untold Story, his biography, and his personal and professional life.

What is the level of Dhoni's leadership style?

Dhoni exemplifies a level-five leader,

He leads by example, willing to put the team’s interests above his own, just like a conductor orchestrating a symphony where every note harmonises perfectly.

What is so inspirational about MS Dhoni?

Dhoni’s journey is an inspiration to millions around the world.

From coming from a small humble background in Ranchi to one of the greatest cricketing legends, this never happened overnight but proved that we all could fulfil our dreams with true perseverance and dedication. 

His relentless pursuit of excellence and his ability to stay grounded ignites a fire within all of us to chase our own aspirations.

He still lives in Ranchi, and in some localities of Ranchi, he has strictly asked the local media person not to follow him anywhere.

What is so inspirational about MS Dhoni?

Dhoni’s journey is an inspiration to millions around the world.

From coming from a small humble background in Ranchi to one of the greatest cricketing legends, this never happened overnight but proved that we all could fulfill our dreams with true perseverance and dedication. 

His relentless pursuit of excellence and his ability to stay grounded ignites a fire within all of us to chase our own aspirations.

He still lives in Ranchi, and in some localities of Ranchi, he has strictly asked the local media person not to follow him anywhere.

MS Dhoni is the Greatest Leader of all time.

8 Leadership Traits that make MS Dhoni a Great Captain


Dhoni is a brilliant captain who knows how to extract the best performance from each individual. His understanding of the game and ability to make crucial decisions make him one of the best captains India has ever had.”

-Anil Kumble

Dhoni’s leadership skills can’t fit into some traits, so let’s use some news headlines’ help.

Let’s Dig Deeper:

T20 World Cup Winner

1. Intelligent tactics:


Dhoni’s masterstroke: India clinch inaugural World Twenty20 title”

– ESPNcricinfo, September 24, 2007

Dhoni possessed excellent tactical awareness, which enabled him to devise effective strategies and make astute decisions on the field. 

Dhoni’s ability to think on his feet and adapt his tactics to any situation is simply mind-blowing. We just can’t help but bow down to his tactical genius.

Whether it’s setting the perfect field placements or making those unexpected bowling changes, he always seems to be one step ahead of the game. 

His tactical brilliance was evident in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 final against Pakistan.

 Dhoni surprised everyone by giving the final over to Joginder Sharma, a relatively unknown bowler who proved to be a game-changer. Sharma dismissed Misbah-ul-Haq on the last ball, securing a memorable victory for India.

Key Takeaway

A leader with intelligent tactics possesses a sharp and analytical mind, using precise strategies to navigate complex situations effectively.

2. Excellent Man- Management Skills


Dhoni’s leadership inspires young Indian team to victory”

– The Indian Express, March 4, 2008

Dhoni was known for bringing out the best in his players. He creates this incredible team spirit where everyone feels valued and motivated.

He knows exactly what each player needs to perform at their peak. It’s as if he has this uncanny ability to boost confidence and instil belief in his teammates.


He has a great understanding of the game and knows how to bring out the best from his players. His leadership has been instrumental in India’s success.” 

– Sachin Tendulkar

Dhoni’s leadership style was epitomised by his successful handling of a young and inexperienced Indian team in the 2008 Commonwealth Bank Series. 

He motivated and inspired his team to overcome adversity and win the tournament.

Key Takeaway

Effective leaders excel in managing and inspiring their teams, nurturing a positive work environment, and maximising the potential of each  individual.

3. Strong communication skills

'Dhoni is a very good communicator' - Times of India, July 6, 2009

Dhoni is a master of conveying his ideas and plans to his team members. His clear instructions and effective communication on the field have played a pivotal role in the success of the Indian team. 

Dhoni knows how to get his message across in a way that inspires and motivates his teammates to perform at their best.

One such incident that strikes our mind while talking about MSD’s communication skills is, during a crucial match against Australia in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, Dhoni was seen actively communicating with the bowlers, providing them with valuable insights and guidance. This helped India restrict Australia’s run rate and secure a vital victory.

Young parliamentarian Deepender Singh Hooda, in one of his interviews with Times of India, says,


Dhoni’s communication skills are such that they have allowed him to take tough decisions with the right intent, and the team has supported him thoroughly even when some decisions backfired.”

– Deepender Singh Hooda

Key Takeaway

A leader with strong communication skills can spread ideas clearly and actively listen, ensuring efficient collaboration and alignment.

World Cup Final

4. Cool and Calm Demeanour:


Dhoni leads India to World Cup glory with match-winning knock”

– Times of India, April 3, 2011

One of Dhoni’s most notable aspects of captaincy was his composure and calmness, even in high-pressure situations. This trait allowed him to make clear-headed decisions, leading to numerous victories for the team.

Dhoni’s calm and composed demeanour is something we can all strive for. Even in the most intense moments, he never lost his cool. He had this magical power to stay calm and make the best decisions under pressure. 

We could use some of that chillness in our own lives, right?

His ability to stay composed under pressure was evident in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final when he promoted himself up the batting order and scored an unbeaten 91 runs, steering India to victory!

Key Takeaway

Leaders who remain composed and level-headed in challenging circumstances inspire confidence and can make well-informed decisions under pressure.

Champions Trophy Winner

5. Adaptability


Dhoni’s tactical brilliance leads India to Champions Trophy triumph”

– ESPNcricinfo, June 23, 2013

Dhoni has this incredible ability to adjust his strategies and game plans based on the situation.

 Whether altering the batting order or making tactical bowling changes, he always finds a way to stay one step ahead of the game. 

This adaptability allows him to play according to the situation’s needs and criticality.

Remember that thrilling 2013 Champions Trophy final against England? Dhoni’s decision to promote himself up the order proved a game-changer as he guided India to victory.

Key Takeaway

A leader who embraces change and adapts to new situations quickly can lead their team through uncertainty, thus overcoming obstacles.

6. Extraordinary Ability to Handle Pressure


India vs. South Africa, ICC Champions Trophy, 2013:

Dhoni’s unbeaten knock under pressure takes India to victory in a crucial match, helping them qualify for the semifinals”

– ESPNcricinfo, June 11, 2013

Dhoni truly is a master in handling pressure, and his exceptional leadership skills in moments like these make us fans scream with joy.

Whether it’s a crucial match or a tense chase, Dhoni has this unique aura of composure that spreads throughout the team. 

His calm and collected approach allow him to make level-headed decisions even in high-stakes situations. 

His extraordinary ability to handle pressure was evident in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 when India was up against South Africa in a crucial match. The South African batsmen were putting up an intense fight, and victory seemed to be slipping away from India’s grasp.

Dhoni’s leadership came to the forefront as the match reached its thrilling climax. He made quick decisions, deployed innovative strategies, and ensured the team maintained focus under immense pressure. In the end, India emerged victorious, clinching a hard-fought win.

Key Takeaway

Exceptional leaders thrive under pressure, maintaining composure and making critical decisions with clarity and confidence during challenging times.

7. Strategic Planning


MS Dhoni made a winning return to captaincy as Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 13 runs in the Indian Premier League

– BBC Sports

With a razor-sharp mind, Dhoni’s planning skills are truly mesmerising. He sets the stage, positions his fielders like chess pieces, and anticipates the actions of his opponents. With each ball, his plan unfolds, leaving the other team in a state of confusion.

Dhoni is a master of surprises. From pulling off unexpected bowling changes to clever field placement, he can leave even the most experienced batsmen scratching their heads.

He can completely change the game with a stroke of genius, leaving everyone wondering what happened!

Testament to this is the 2018 IPL Finals when CSK played against SRH under the captaincy of the legend we are discussing.

With his strong influence and impact, Dhoni inspired the team to deliver exceptional performances, culminating in a resounding victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in the final. 

One shining example was Ambati Rayudu, who had faced his fair share of ups and downs but found his groove under Dhoni’s guidance. 

The decision to utilise Shane Watson – an Australian all-rounder, as an opener instead of a bowler proved to be a stroke of genius, adding an extra dimension to the team’s gameplay.

Dhoni’s astute strategic planning skills were evident in his choice of leg-spinner Karn Sharma over the experienced Harbhajan Singh for the final.

The captain wanted a leg-spin option against right-handers, showcasing his strategic thinking and attention to detail.

With every move and decision, he showcased why he is regarded as one of the finest leaders in the game of cricket.


It was Dhoni’s impact. It is very important. Dhoni does have a very strong influence and impact on players. MS’s belief and confidence in a strong role for a player works for us. He has a strong ability to bring the best out of players. Rayudu is a great example, being in and out of the team,”

– CSK’s chief coach Stephen Fleming

Key Takeaway

Leaders skilled in strategic planning have a vision for the future, set clear goals, and develop actionable plans to achieve long-term success.

8. Emotional Intelligence


Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout from 1929 hrs, consider me as Retired”

– M S Dhoni, August 15, 2020

Throughout his illustrious career, Dhoni showcased remarkable composure in the face of immense pressure.

 Whether it was leading India to World Cup glory or steering Chennai Super Kings to IPL triumphs, he remained unfazed, displaying a remarkable level of self-control. 

In the most critical moments, when tensions ran high, Dhoni’s calmness permeated the entire team, instilling confidence and clarity.

Dhoni’s emotional intelligence was truly showcased when he announced his retirement from international cricket. 

When the time came to bid farewell to the game that defined him, Dhoni fully exhibited his emotional intelligence. Instead of a glorious spectacle, he chose a simple, heartfelt message to inform the world of his decision.

By choosing this path, Dhoni demonstrated a deep understanding of his own emotions and the impact his retirement would have on his fans and teammates. He recognized the importance of a graceful exit, leaving behind memories that would be cherished rather than overshadowed by any theatrics.

Both on and off the pitch, he possessed an uncanny ability to connect with people on a deeper level. He genuinely cared about his teammates’ well-being and was often seen offering support and guidance, both as a captain and as a friend. 

This emotional bond created an environment of trust and respect within the team and the people around him.

This was proved when Suresh Raina, another great Indian batsman, chose to retire 30 minutes after Dhoni’s retirement.


With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you [Dhoni] in this journey,”

– Suresh Raina

Key Takeaway

A leader with high emotional intelligence understands and manages their emotions, empathises with others, and builds strong relationships, fostering a positive and harmonious work environment.

Well, a 16-word caption with the iconic 'Pal do pal ka shayar' song playing in the background for a retirement post. What can define Mahindra Singh Dhoni better than this?

These are just a few examples that demonstrate why MS Dhoni was considered a great captain. Dhoni’s legacy as a captain will undoubtedly be remembered for years in the cricket world.

But What is the best achievement of Dhoni?

Among Dhoni’s numerous achievements, winning the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 is his crowning glory. 

It was a moment that united a nation and immortalised Dhoni in the hearts of cricket enthusiasts worldwide.

 He displayed exceptional leadership skills leading from the front, guiding the team to victory, and etching his name in cricketing history.

Dhoni is 42 and 'Definitely Not' getting Retired

With MSD turning 42 this year, India held its breath, waiting for the announcement to determine the fate of MS Dhoni’s cricketing career in the IPL 2023 edition.

Would he also bid farewell to the IPL after retiring from the Indian team? 

It was the moment of truth, and Dhoni was about to speak for the first time since his Instagram post that broke millions of hearts on Independence Day. 

And when the question was finally answered with his iconic answer, ‘Definitely not,’ it was like a breath of fresh air for all the CSK fans out there!

With every match, fans kept bombarding Dhoni with questions about his retirement. But Captain Cool keeps everyone in suspense with his typical swagger. 

At first, he played it safe and kept his plans a secret but just 10 days after his internet-breaking ‘farewell’ statement, he took a complete U-turn and told Danny Morrison,


You’ve decided it’s my last [season], not me.”


So, Dhoni is not going anywhere, at least not for another year. Bottoms Up, guys!

Final Thoughts

All in all

In a world of chaos and competition, MS Dhoni stands as a beacon of inspiration, reminding us that greatness is achieved through a combination of talent, determination, and unwavering leadership.

As we reflect on the chapters of his illustrious career, let us cherish the memories, the records, and the unwavering spirit that defined the man known as Captain Cool. 

MS Dhoni, a true game master, will forever be celebrated as a symbol of determination, grace, and an undying passion for cricket.

It's safe to say that MSD's legacy in Indian cricket is firmly established, and he'll continue to be a source of inspiration for generations of cricketers to come!

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