This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Anwesh Biswal. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Trust The Helicopter: Dhoni Will Be Key For India In The 2019 World Cup

MS Dhoni’s midas-touched career as a player and a senior statesman, beyond a doubt, has reached its twilight.

Let’s not delve too far into his past record which is otherwise impeccable. It was the first ODI in Chennai this February, when Australia’s Nathan Coulter Nile, reduced India to 11/3. In walked MS Dhoni, who stitched together the innings with Kedar Jadav, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneswar Kumar to help India put up a fighting total of 281/7. India won that match handsomely.

His next show was at Sri Lanka – the second ODI in Pallekele. Team India was cruising home at 109/0, chasing a modest total of 231. Akila Dananjaya, the Lankan spinner conjured something unnatural that night, triggering the collapse of six India batsmen with seemingly unplayable balls.

Suddenly, the Sri Lankan team rose like a ghost from their past, looking to script a major scare for India. The memory of Ajantha Mendis tormenting Indian batsmen in Asia Cup Final of 2008 appeared to be rewinding itself. But Dhoni was still playing at other end, and he did what he does best. He built a partnership with Bhuvenswar Kumar (53).While other batsmen were playing expansive and expensive strokes; he used his feet agility, bat and body to score runs. He used his trademarks singles and doubles and provided Kumar the platform to play the innings of his career. Cut to the next match, he again sutured a heavy duty partnership of 157 with Rohit Sharma to take India across the line from a stage of 74/4.

His age notwithstanding, people still expect him to play like he is 26. According to many, Dhoni is not the demigod he used to be. He has got his shares of pot-shots and advice from ex-teammates and seniors to make way for juniors for his poor performance this year. However, record books and stats speak something else.

The former India captain scored 632 runs at a brilliant average of 79 playing 20 matches this calendar year. If we look only in ODIs, he has four half centuries and one ton. The players above him are all top order batsmen. Being in the last leg of his career and scoring runs from number six position speaks volumes about this man and what is left in him. It has become a  habit of media and people to question players’ ability after they cross the age of 30. Players younger than him are also failing. Let’s not make him a scapegoat for ‘team’ failure. I guess India needs Dhoni more than Dhoni needs India for the 2019 World Cup.

The Flourishing Virat-Dhoni Nexus

Captaining a side for so long, you take small things for granted and to come back to the side not being a captain, is very difficult. The transition has been smoother than expected like it never happened. Even with Kohli as captain, when field changes or bowling changes are being made, you still see Dhoni playing an active role in it.

Even if it is a Decision Review System (DRS) call, Kohli depends on Dhoni and it’s more or less Dhoni’s call in the end. Well, it has taken the sudden impact and burden of captaincy from Kohli’s shoulders. Kohli is one of India’s premier fielders, and he needs to field in outfield in the final overs.It would be nearly impossible for him to captain the side from outfield. That’s where Dhoni steps up. It helps Kohli to patrol the boundaries freely in final overs. But even Dhoni is careful to not to steal the thunder from Virat. Be it in team meetings, team hurdle or press conferences, Dhoni leaves it to the ever beaming and confident Kohli, to take control and marshal his troops from the front. This has been only possible due to huge amount of mutual respect they have for each other. The duo are expected to do their good work and flourish at least till WC’19.

Dhoni: The Batsman And Senior Statesman

Dhoni has evolved and moulded as a batsman throughout his career. Towards the end, even his ardent fans will agree that Dhoni is not the lethal destroyer from his prime days, but more the sheet anchor these days. He is playing the role of an anchor around which the team can build. He is not playing the role of a destroyer in the chase, but is allowing someone else to play that role.

During this phase, his expertise and experience are seen to have percolated into younger players like Pandya, Jhadhav, and Kumar. He is not hammering those long towering sixes every now and then, but is still converting ones to twos and twos to threes.

He has played at number six position throughout the span of his career and has done the difficult task of hitting the ball from word go. Now, to get the maximum out his batting expertise and experience, he should play at number four or five so that he gets overs to pace the innings and launch the attack in final overs.

Even during the last innings of his career, he has not dropped a single kilometre in speed while running between wickets. He is fitter than most and his fitness can be compared to any top class international player. Well to put things to perspective, I think that if Dhoni and Usain Bolt run with pads on, well winner would be the 36-year-‘old’-man.

Dhoni brings to table a vast amount of experience, an infallible tactical brain and a sea of calmness which very few in the world can boast of. Virat Kohli plays with his heart on his sleeve but you need someone like Dhoni in the dressing room, who would tell the boys once in a while to enjoy the game and to not bother about the results.

Dhoni, the senior player, plays an important link between young bowlers and their success. You can see Dhoni constantly giving inputs to young bowlers. It may be as simple as where to ball, or field sets to the ball. What it does is that it helps the bowlers learn a thing or two about the game from the master wizard.

Dhoni: The Wicketkeeper

Well, coming to his glove-work and skills behind the wicket, there are very few players who have excelled in the game as he does. He comes around with every unorthodox way to fox the batsman. His lightning-fast stumping and smart techniques of run-outs are a revelation in itself. There are very few, or it would be safe to say, none would come close to his wizardry in wicket keeping.

Finally he is someone who came, saw, conquered and left before anyone guessed (Test team and ODI and T20 captaincy). He is the hero India needs, not deserves. He is the silent guardian. And he will be gone, long before you call him a villain for playing too long. He will probably do it silently – with no media grandstanding and no guard of honour. He would walk into the sunset before you’d know.

His favourite songMain pal do pal ko shayar hun” tell us that even he knows when it is time to hang his boots because the song’s next line is, “Kyun yeh mashroof zamaana mere liye apna waqt barbaad karega.” Till then let’s enjoy the bullet speed stumping and the helicopter shots.

You must be to comment.
  1. Ansumanlucky Sky

    Marvellous title with perfect execution of topic and awesome blend of words.?

  2. Koushani Das

    Very well composed?

  3. Koushani Das

    Very well composed?? A topic you should actually give a thought to..

  4. Siddhivinayak Raut

    ???? nice piece of work

More from Anwesh Biswal

Similar Posts

By Abhishek Kumar Makhariya

By Mohtashim Syed

By Abhishek Kumar Makhariya

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below