MS Dhoni became only the sixth Indian to play 300 One Day Internationals when he took the field in Colombo for the third ODI of the ongoing five-match series against Sri Lanka on Thursday, August 31.
The 36-year-old, who is the only skipper to have won a World Cup, a World T20 and a Champions Trophy, is eyeing a couple of world records, as India prepares to inflict more damage on the hosts after having sealed an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
A lot is being spoken about Dhoni's longevity in the game as he is still going strong and is being found by former legends, including Sunil Gavaskar, as irreplaceable at least until the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Notably, the Ranchi dasher, in his 12th year of international cricket, has scored runs at an average of 83.
However, the staggering numbers do not give us the exact picture of what made Dhoni who he is today. From arriving at the international arena as a dangerous hard-hitter to moulding himself as one of the best finishers in the world, the World-Cup winning former captain has evolved to suit the needs of the dressing room.
However, one aspect that has always been a constant is his ability to handle pressure and remain calm on the field. Dhoni, with his ice-cool attitude, has helped India snatch victories from the jaws of defeat on numerous occasions.
Dhoni's ability to not be overwhelmed by emotions has baffled quite a few. When Gavaskar, who was commentating on air ahead of the fourth ODI on Thursday, quizzed one of the panellists, Zaheer Khan, if the man from Ranchi has ever lost his cool in the dressing room, the former India pacer's reply was a big NO.
The 38-year-old also shed light on how Dhoni helps player overcome issues with form and how he was benefited by a discussion he had with his former captain.
"I have never seen him [Dhoni] lose his cool. I cannot remember any incident during which he let anger get to him. That is a rare quality he posses," Zaheer said.
He added: "Dhoni would always have quiet word [with out-of-form players]. He wouldn't talk anything on the field, but during practice sessions he would let players know.
"There was a time when I was not able to get the ball back into the right handers. He just came to me and had a little chat, gave me a few tips on why batsmen were able to read me often. He triggers the thought process, which eventually helps players perform better."
Earlier in the day, Kohli presented Dhoni with a momento to mark the latter's milestone moment. The Indian skipper also had a word of praise for the legend during the toss, which India won.
"Dhoni has been a legend of the game. We [dressing room] know the importance of him in our cricketing careers. We all respect him, we all love him," Kohli said.