Putting an end to the debate between youth and experience, Mahendra Singh Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to a third Indian Premier League title on Sunday. The skipper did not break a sweat as CSK raced to the target of 178 set by Sunrisers Hyderabad. In the end, Dhoni did not even come out to bat as Shane Watson's stunning century led CSK to the title.
This was the first time in three years that CSK was playing the tournament after serving a two-year suspension for a corruption scandal. And to add the cherry to the cake, the internet was flooded with images of skipper Dhoni celebrating their victory – but with an endearing twist.
In this picture for instance, while the entire team is standing shoulder to shoulder, basking in glory, Dhoni has no qualms about standing behind, away from the camera lenses, celebrating with his daughter.
Dhoni is known to be a doting dad, posting photos and videos with his daughter Ziva on Instagram, and even finding time during post-match hustle bustle to have a moment with the three-year-old.
Check out this adorable video where Ziva runs straight on to the field amidst the victory festivities, right into her elated father’s arms.
Cutest Video Ziva Running to Hug Dhoni ! And Dhoni Running to Hug ZivaPosted by Keep Calm & Believe In Dhoni on Sunday, May 27, 2018
And even if babies’ and kids’ videos generally don’t give you the warm fuzzies, this one may come very, very close. Look at Dhoni's expression of adoration as he watches his daughter raising her hands to catch the confetti. And isn’t that spin he gives Ziva just adorable?
Here's Ziva repeatedly attempting to feed her dad some of her Frooti (a mango drink) as he speaks to Michael Clarke after the match. Dhoni wasn't in any mood to put her down though!
He also said that Ziva was more interested in running around in the field than the trophy!
Incidentally, Dhoni was not in India or with his wife Sakshi when Ziva was born in 2015 – he was away in Australia for the World Cup. While he was appreciated then for his “commitment to work” (a privilege dads enjoy; moms are usually berated by society for prioritising work over family) he did say later that it was difficult for him to not be there.
Since then though, he has been quite public doing dad things, and his fans cannot get enough of it.
After the match against Kings XI Punjab, the last game CSK played in Pune, Dhoni walked up to the dressing room with Ziva, bidding goodbye to the stadium. Here’s a video of the father daughter duo walking hand in hand.
Thala Dhoni's last walk with Ziva into Pune's Dressing Room for this season! #WhistlePodu #Yellove #CSKPosted by MS Dhoni Fans Official on Monday, May 21, 2018