The King is dead, long live the King. As Lalit Modi relinquished his crown as Emperor of the IPL amidst scandal, backstabbing and intrigue, another King cemented a vice like grip on his own throne as one of the best captains India has ever had along with Kapil Dev and Sourav Ganguly.
As Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his banana clad Chennai team mates celebrated their triumph over Mumbai in the IPL final, one couldn't help admire the man that held the trophy aloft. Chennai had certainly peaked at the right time and it had all been inspired by their captain's magnificent innings in their last regular season game against Punjab in Dharamsala. Chennai were staring defeat and exit from the competition in the face with 29 required off the last two overs when Dhoni took over and blasted Chennai into the last four.
This seemed to bring Chennai together as a team and gave them the impetus to defend a small total of 142 in the semi-final against Deccan and then win the final against Mumbai with the odds stacked against them. Mumbai had Tendulkar, they had home advantage and they had been the best team in the competition, but Dhoni and his troops put in a magnificent performance to triumph.
It was yet another triumph for Dhoni as a captain. First, he won the 2007 World T20 in South Africa just after taking over as captain. In a way it was a surprise given Dhoni's had previously been known as much for his Bollywood style and his flamboyant batting rather than the obviously sound cricket brain that lurked beneath. Soon after taking over the ODI captaincy from Anil Kumble, he led India to their first tri-series victory in Australia. And now as test captain, he has led India to the summit in that form of the game too.
Dhoni may actually become the best captain India has ever had; he may be already.