image source: (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
Gary Kirsten walked into the dressing room to see him padding up.
It was the 2011 World Cup final. Sachin Tendulkar had just been dismissed. Almost 1.25 billion Indians were crestfallen. They prayed for a victory that now seemed unlikely.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had encountered a poor run in the tournament until then. But, here he was, promoting himself in the batting order, ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina. It seemed stupid, almost suicidal… like committing deliberate hara-kiri. And yet, Dhoni said to Kirsten, “I think I should go next.”
“Yes, you should”, Kirsten said. The team looked at Dhoni, a million questions running through their heads. He walked out to bat at the fall of Virat Kohli’s wicket.