Of the three Mahendra Singh Dhonis who served Indian cricket—the wicketkeeper, the batsman and the captain—each would find a place in an all-time Indian one-day XI. This might make him the finest player to have turned out for India in coloured clothes; only Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar challenge him for the title, with Virat Kohli possibly getting there.
Yet, and this is the most amazing aspect of the Dhoni success, he is not a natural in any of these fields. As an outstanding wicketkeeper he has expanded the horizons of his craft with his short-arm jab while stumping against spinners to his reverse flick which hits the stumps and gets startled batsmen run out. Yet, these are testimony to his athletic skills. He can be the despair of those who worship at the altar of technique, and is often characterised as an athlete who wears gloves rather than a natural who took to the job as if by right.