Dhoni's consistency rewarded

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/d/dhoni2_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Mahendra Singh Dhoni has evolved from a batsman with a dashing attitude to one of the team's most prolific match-winners.

Updated: November 06, 2007 15:50 IST
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New Delhi:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has evolved from a batsman with a dashing attitude to one of the team's most prolific match-winners and now to the One Day Captain.

It's taken MSD just three years of international cricket to convince the selectors of his leadership potential.

In 2005, Dhoni played a glittering innings against Sri Lanka, scoring 183 not out, which is still the highest score by a wicket-keeper in one dayers.

Mahi, as the new captain is called, announced his arrival on the international stage with a fabulous 148 against Pakistan in 2005 and there's been no looking back since then.

In fact, Dhoni has evolved into one of the game's best finishers. When India set that record for winning 17 ODIs in a row while chasing, it was Dhoni who was often the difference between victory and defeat.

Every time Dhoni has scored a century, India has gone on to win the match. But he wins the matches in style as well. He's hit a sixer as a winning shot four times already.

However, it's not those batting statistics that have got Dhoni the job of India's one day captain. He's shown remarkable ability to judge situations and adapt his game accordingly.

That's precisely why he cut out the frills and got the job done in the Lord's Test. His 76 not out in that game helped India hang on to a draw by one wicket.

And then more recently was the Twenty20 match against Pakistan. Dhoni's choice of the slower bowlers for the critical bowl-out is an indication of a cricketing acumen that may be inexperienced right now, but certainly has potential.

His hair, advertisements, bikes have all catapulted him into the limelight as much as his flamboyant batting.

However the 26-year-old hasn't let any of that go to his head. So the selectors must hope that he will be just as level headed when it comes to leadership issues.

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