February, 13, 2011 (JPN): As the countdown ticks away for cricket’s biggest festival to take off, post.jagran.com brings you a series on key players from India who may prove out to be great impact players in the tournament.

First is the man with the Midas touch, Team India skipper MS Dhoni.

Last twelve months have been fantastic for Dhoni. Not only did he see a new high in his personal life after wedding school sweetheart Sakshi, but as skipper he bagged two prestigious titles-IPL 3 and Champions League. So will he be third time lucky with the ultimate title of world champions? Can he bring back the Cup home after a 28 year-long wait?

None but time has all the answers.

However, under Dhoni, India were crowned world champions in the shortest version of the game back in 2007, when a young Team India won the inaugural edition of the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup.

But Dhoni is no longer the same man. His aggression is on a downward slide, the blazing stroke-play is a rare phenomenon these days and captain cool is all in contrast to what made him, not a star, but a shining sun of cricket.

Having said that, Dhoni is Dhoni, a great learner of the game, he anticipates events superbly, interprets them to a nicety and his on-field gambles during crunch moments have swung the fortune on India’s side on numerous occasions.

Dhoni, probably, takes the best seat in the house when India bowls and often comes up with strange fielding positions. As a wicket-keeper, Dhoni remains eagle –eyed, diligently studying the batsman’s game and sets fielders in apt positions. His quick reflexes and agility behind the stumps is remarkable and pouches every opportunity that is offered by the batsman.

The forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup will be a litmus test for Dhoni, his captaincy skills and the ability to absorb pressure from the home crowd. He will have to make sure Team India live up to the hype and carry the baggage of expectations without affecting the performance. It is easier said than done, the home advantage is neutralized by a billion fans’ hopes and media will not leave Dhoni at any time.

Cricket pundits tag team India as favourites to win the showpiece event and Dhoni as the most secure and confident skipper. If the previous WC is any guide, cricket fans in India will be a touch apprehensive and nervous. Minnows Bangladesh acted party pooper for the Rahul Dravid-led Indian side, which failed to go beyond the first round in the mega event.

More the hype around Team India, more badly they lose. The next two editions of the ICC T20 World Cup only substantiated the claim. But if there is one man who can reverse the claim, it has to be the dynamic Dhoni.

In the end, a request to the billion fans at home, "Don’t eye India's WC stint, let them kiss gold without trampling the confidence with over-expectations."

BY Himanshu Dubey