Dhoni embraces mentoring role in Zimbabwe

During India's tour of Zimbabwe, MS Dhoni broke the record for the number of international matches as captain. Many have been wondering if carrying that burden has left him jaded, and speculating about when he will call time on his long and illustrious career. But, writes Bharat Sundaresan in the Indian Express, to watch Dhoni during the Zimbabwe tour was to see a man uplifted and highly involved in his role as guide and father figure to a team of youngsters.

This two-week one-city African sojourn was not so much, if at all, about what Dhoni was up to in front of the cameras though. It was more about what he was up to behind the scenes. It was a tour that even for one as well-travelled a cricketer as Dhoni--he broke the record of captaining his country in more internationals than anyone else in history--was unprecedented. For once, he wasn't in the glare of the spotlight. There were no rogue cameras following him around, recording his every move. For once, he was left to be on his own. It was the cricket tour version of a hideaway.Considering the squad he was leading and the lack of intensity in the series, Dhoni could have easily shut himself in his room, looked at this tour as a burden, and grudgingly counted down the days. It would have been understandable even. But instead, he warmed up to the task, and also to having a bunch of new faces that he hasn't had much to do with in the past around him. To have a fortnight away from the swarming press coaxing, cudgelling and cossetting him for a definitive answer about his future may have helped too. It was as if having the breath of fresh air and the breathing space had had a therapeutic effect on him. As the tour progressed, he seemed more rejuvenated than ever, like someone keen to get going with the next chapter in his remarkable narrative rather than someone bracing for what many detractors perceive as the bitter climax.