Nottingham, July 7 :
As Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates his 33rd birthday and seventh year of Indian captaincy, the Ranchi boy feels that he was extremely lucky to have some great senior players around him during his early days.
“Once you’re made the captain you don’t know how long you’re going to remain there and it’s been seven long years for me. From being fortunate to get a very good side as a young captain to now leading this exciting team in transitional phase – it has been a fantastic ride. I have learnt so many things during this period, not only about cricket but about life,” Dhoni told BCCI.tv as he turned 33.
Dhoni said that cricket teaches a lot of things in life, especially in tough times.
“Cricket teaches you a lot in life, especially during the difficult times. It enriches your character in terms of how you behave when you’re down and not only try to improve yourself but help your team mates as well. As the leader you have to protect your team from any negativity that creeps in during these times. These have been very educational seven years of my life,” he said.
Dhoni said that when he started to play for India, he was extremely lucky to have a very good bunch of senior players around him.
“What they taught me cannot be restricted to the captaincy box because it was much more than that. What I learnt from them was how to be humble, how to conduct yourself when you’re successful and how to figure your way out of tough times. Captaincy is a very small aspect of my life as a cricketer and their impact on me as a person has been much bigger,” he said.
Ask how it felt to lead those who once captained him, Dhoni said: “I took captaincy as a job responsibility. I was given a certain role in the team and whatever I had to do to fulfill that role, I did. If anything, their presence made things easy for me initially because you don’t need to tell Sachin, Dravid, Laxman or Dada what needs to be done.”
Dhoni said that the senior players even during the fag end of their careers were setting example for the youngsters.
“Even during the fag end of their careers, they helped me as a captain by setting an example for the younger guys coming in. The young boys learnt from them what it takes to succeed at international cricket and they were groomed under them. At the same time they understood how important it is to maintain their own individuality because of which they were in the team. It’s the individual characters that shape the character of the team,” he said.