MS Dhoni: Captain, Tailsman, Leader, Gunman, Legend.
Words might fell short of achievements of this lad as he left another story untold. MS Dhoni has resigned as Indian Cricket Team captain for ODIs and T20s and fans have nothing but praise and honour for so called “captain cool.” We are going to witness top moments of MS Dhoni’s career as he bids farewell to captaincy.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has resigned as the captain of India’s limited-overs sides with less than two weeks to go before their one-day international series against England gets under way.
He captained India in 199 ODI matches with a national record 110 victories, including a career-defining 2011 World Cup win on home soil in which he smashed 91 not out from 79 balls in the final to lead his side to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.
Two years later, Dhoni skippered India to an ICC Champions Trophy triumph in England and Wales, becoming the first captain to win all three limited-overs trophies, having also guided his side to World Twenty20 glory in South Africa in 2007.
Rahul Johri, chief executive officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, led the tributes to Dhoni. “On the behalf of every Indian cricket fan and the BCCI, I would like to thank MS Dhoni for his outstanding contribution as the captain of the Indian team across all formats,” Johri said. “Under his leadership, the Indian team has touched new heights and his achievements will remain etched forever in the annals of Indian cricket.”
Dhoni, who won 41 of his 72 T20s, continued to lead the limited-overs sides after retiring from Test cricket in 2014. Virat Kohli took the reins in the longest format and, while an announcement over Dhoni’s successor has not been made, he will be the heavy favourite to captain all three sides. Before Christmas, Kohli amassed 655 runs at an impressive average of 109.16 to lead India to a 4-0 series victory over England, who return to the subcontinent for three ODIs and three T20s.
But what could be the reason for stepping down the captaincy?
Time to hand over the captains armband to Kohli: This might be the main reason why Dhoni decided to completely hand over the reins of the team to the Indian Test skipper. Since he took over as captain in the game’s long format, Kohli is enjoying a dream run. The 28-year-old Delhi batter has been able to build a team with a vision and enjoys a lot of respect among players. Plus, speculations have been doing round over appointing him as the captain for all three formats. In such a situation, Dhoni might have felt it was the right time to step down with honour before anyone asks him to. Pretty bold and intelligent move though.
Changing equations within BCCI: The Supreme Court sacked Anurag Thakur as the president of BCCI for failing to implement Lodha panel reforms. It is for sure that the cash-rich cricket body will have a new president. Dhoni, who is in the twilight of his career might have been unsure whether the new board chief might think positively about his stint as a captain.
Too much pressure of Captaincy: During the ICC World T20 held last year, Dhoni was miffed when a reporter asked him about his future plans. While his fans applauded him for the barb and critics berated him for arrogance, Dhoni might have given a rethink after a miserable IPL season while leading Pune Supergiants. The two-time IPL winning captain came under fire after his team finished at the bottom in the cash-rich annual cricket extravaganza. He had quit Test cricket after the burden of multiple captaincies had taken a toll on him. Maybe, he wanted to relax and continue playing for India.
Preparing for 2019 World Cup: MS Dhoni led India to the title in 2007 ICC World T20 and 2011 ICC World Cup. Besides this, the team reached the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2015. With the pressure of captaincy off his shoulders, he would be able to inspire youngsters with his performance with the bat and gloves.