Captain Cool Dhoni plays modest

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Easy lies the head that wears the crown. Even as MS Dhoni receives rich praise for the CB Series, he chooses to play down the attention.

Updated: March 06, 2008 14:11 IST
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Speaking of captains, here's one who leads possibly the next super-power of international cricket, who fetched the largest bid in the IPL auction recently, and who's already led India to two of its most historic wins ever, in the space of 6 months. All that at the ripe old age of 26! If Sourav Ganguly was hailed as one of India's best team-builders, MS Dhoni hasn't been far behind.

Why he is so well-liked is because he is not in the fore-front," former India captain Sunil Gavaskar says of Dhoni. "He has taken the trophy and then has given it to the rest of the team. He is not the kind of guy who wants to hog the limelight. He is not the kind of guy who wants to be in the picture all the time, he is quite happy to let his team bask in the glory. In short he is a winner."

Dhoni's reputation of being a team man is fast becoming legend and so is his ability to stay composed in the face of both adversity and success. The man himself though might just have revealed his secret.

"The captain does not have much of a role to play," Dhoni said at the press conference after the Brisbane final. "The players are important, we had 17 and it depends on how they react. The captain is a channel who takes all the pressure and transfers it to the players - like I would go to Harbhajan and say, 'please get me a wicket'."

Bhajji, on his part, responded with two phenomenal performances in the two finals in Sydney and Brisbane. Dhoni also made some unpopular moves like dropping an in form Ganguly, and not picking Sehwag when the whole world thought he should.

Instead he backed a complete unknown at the international level, Praveen Kumar, and giving him the new ball was just one of several Dhoni masterstrokes.

Be it backing a struggling Yuvraj Singh, including Piyush Chawla for both finals or opting to go with a vulnerable Irfan for the last crunch over in Brisbane, Dhoni's faith in his players is what seems to have made all the difference.

Of the 22 one-day internationals Dhoni has captained in, India have won 10. His Twenty20 record is even better - six wins in ten games. What defines Dhoni is his generosity coupled with being extremely demanding.

"I want 11 players ready to stand in front of a truck if I ask them to," Dhoni said.

And his men have done just that - they've stood up to the bully in his own backyard and beaten him. A very high standard has been set, and MSD won't be willing to settle for any thing less.

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