In the late 90s and during Greg Chappell's coaching era, when heads were tumbling through the Indian team's turmoil, it seems all that Mahendra Singh Dhoni did was chalk out a plan on how things would change for the better. When granted the opportunity to lead, he showed himself ready and emerged as the solution to most of India's problems, enough to finally fulfill expectations of a long-suffering crowd of supporters.
An Adam Gilchrist-inspired Dhoni was drafted in 2004 to solve India's wicketkeeper-batsman crisis after the failure of the Rahul Dravid experiment. His start was anything but legendary - getting out for a duck. It was his fifth outing at home against Pakistan in 2005, where he stroked a blistering 148, making everyone sit up and take notice. A mammoth 183 to chase a high Sri Lankan total later in the year reiterated his value. By the end of 2005, Dhoni donned the all-whites to earn a Test cap against Sri Lanka. In the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 that followed, Dhoni was chosen to lead a young Indian side. Under his guidance, the team quickly turned disappointment to joy by lifting the coveted trophy, to the surprise of both fans and detractors. His ability to excel in leadership was quickly recognized and within a year, he was appointed as the Indian skipper in all forms of the game.