MS Dhoni has announced his retirement in International cricket from all forms of the game. In an Instagram post showing his entire cricketing journey in a short video he quoted “Thanks. Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout.from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired.”
MS is arguably the most successful white-ball captain the game has ever seen, winning all three ICC major trophies as a captain which also makes him the only captain to do so. Dhoni’s greatest strength was his calm and collected mindset because of which he never cracked under pressure and also his deep understanding of the game which helped him during his leadership.
Trivia : MS Dhoni has scored 4876 and 10,773 runs in 90 tests and 350 ODIs respectively.
R Ashwin, his team-mate had once said in an interview that he had the knack to keep things extremely simple during his captaincy which seems to be the main reason behind his success. Some of his masterstrokes in big tournaments switched the momentum in India’s favour and proved to be vital as the outcome was successful. Who can forget the 2011 World cup finals when he promoted himself ahead of an in- form Yuvraj to play a match winning knock of 91* or the champions trophy in 2013 when he converted a struggling Rohit Sharma into an opener who not only played a major role in the victorious campaign but also turned out to be one of the most prolific openers in the shorter formats.
Dhoni had an unorthodox style of wicketkeeping but yet managed to be one of the most successful glovemen the game has seen. In his 16 years of international cricket, he has never been questioned for his wicketkeeping and some of the lighting quick stumpings he managed to pull off really surprised the batsmen. He played a massive role from behind the stumps to guide the bowler and a lot of their wickets are credited to him. On how many occasions did we hear him giving his inputs to the bowler over the stump mic and a wicket falling soon after?
Trivia : MS has the third most dismissals in International cricket (829) only behind Gilchrist (905) and Boucher (998) and also holds the record for the most stumpings in ODIs by a keeper. (123)
Apart from Michael Bevan, there was no other finisher who had impacted the game in the manner that he did untill the arrival of Dhoni. The Ranchi boy started his career as a swashbuckling batsman at the top of the innings who hit the ball as cleanly as possible but later on moved to his habitat in the middle-order. His brain worked like a computer in a run chase where he knew exactly when to switch gears and which bowler to target. He rarely got run out because he was very quick between the wickets.
Trivia : No batsman has finished unbeaten in more successful Odi chases than MS Dhoni.
‘captain cool’ was a selfless cricketer who always put the needs of his team first. Even when Dhoni played only as a player and not as a captain he was always seen manoeuvring the field and giving an indication to the bowlers on what the batsman was trying to do. An incident that comes to mind is Ganguly’s last test match when MS offered him to take over as captain for the entire match which didn’t happen but Ganguly handled the field placements and bowling changes for a brief period of time.
Dhoni did not get the same level of success in test matches but he took India to the number 1 position in the ICC test rankings and holds a record of 21 test victories at home which is the most by any Indian captain. His memorable partnership with VVS laxman when he scored 132 against South Africa in the 2009 test match at Eden Garden had led India to victory and also kept them from losing the number one spot to South Africa.
Dhoni was a true ambassador of the game who played the sport in the right spirit which is why he earnt the respect of not only his teammates but also the opposition players. According to some players he always kept his room’s door open for the reason that any player could come in and talk to him or seek his advice. He was never involved in any kind of controversy or arguments. He simply led by example.
Suresh Raina too confirmed his retirement from all forms of the game alongside Dhoni. However, both of them will continue to play in the IPL. The loudest cheer in a stadium after Sachin was always for MS no matter which part of the world he was playing in.
MSD’s retirement marks the end of a golden generation of cricketers that most of us grew up watching. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Alastair Cook, Dale Steyn, Muttiah Muralitharan, Hashim Amla, Younis Khan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Yuvraj Singh, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori and the list could go on.
Stats Courtesy: cricbuzz, Wisden, BCCI
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