I was a 13-year-old kid when the T20 World Cup was played for the first time.
Even with my limited knowledge of the sport, I really liked what I saw in that tournament.
From Yuvraj's 6 sixes, to clinching the trophy in an insanely exciting final, it had all the elements of a thrilling World Cup.
But what caught my attention, was the enigmatic captain MS Dhoni who turned everything that he touched into gold.
The first-time skipper gave Joginder Sharma the final over in the final match. The match India was playing against arch-rivals Pakistan.
It was an unlikely choice and everyone watching the final collectively lost hope with that decision.
However, something unexpected happened.
Pakistan needed 6 runs off 4 balls to win the match and overcome by the excitement of being so close to victory, the batsman on crease Misbah-ul-Haq, attempted to hit the 3rd delivery for a 6.
The ball went in the air, taking all of India's hopes with it.
But the master, the magician, had planned his tricks. A carefully placed Sreesanth caught the ball near the boundary and we won the tournament.
That was how MS Dhoni arrived on the scene.
In coming years, Dhoni would emerge as a captain and a player whom you understood less with every passing game, and that kept your interest piqued.
It wasn't over until it was over.
MS Dhoni taught India how to dream.
Like everyone who started following cricket in the later years of the past decade, I have a special place for Dhoni in my heart.
And the way he led us to victory in two World Cups and numerous other thrilling matches, is something I can never forget.
Yes, there is no bigger name in the sport than Sachin Tendulkar and yes, if there is anyone who has come close to breaking his records, it's Virat Kohli.
But Mahi was the reason I started watching cricket and for that alone, he will always be my cricket hero.
What he does is beyond comprehension for most people.
It's like a wizard making things happen with spells or a sharp predator who has its eyes fixed on the target.
He doesn't scream, doesn't shout, doesn't abuse.
He just stands quietly behind the stumps, noticing the fine details and waiting for the batsman to falter.
One extra second beyond the crease and you're gone.
For years, he contributed to team's success with his leadership qualities and excellent performance with bat and gloves.
Now that he is not the captain, we still win games but I miss that swiftness, that accuracy and that perfection.
Virat is leading the team well and deserves all the praise he is getting.
Sachin is arguably the best cricketer to play the game and it makes sense why the elder generation reveres him so much.
But as someone who has seen Dhoni change the game one unexpected decision, one stumping and one sixer at a time, my choice is definite and clear.