Out goes MSD: ‘Greatest’ Indian captain of recent period

Rohit Mahajan

Chandigarh, August 15

There will likely be no newspapers tomorrow. The TV channels are on the crest of a nationalist wave of ardour on Independence Day. What higher time for Mahendra Singh Dhoni to slide by, unobtrusively, from cricket?

You can anticipate Dhoni to behave in an sudden method. By nature of design, Dhoni is contrarian — why else would he announce his ‘retirement’ from worldwide cricket by means of a cryptic submit in Instagram, on Independence Day night? Dhoni’s Instagram submit, made round 7.30pm this night, stated: “Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout.from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired.”


Dhoni, presumably the best Indian captain of the trendy period, appears to have retired. The readability he shows on the cricket is not evident in his communications on-line — although, make no mistake, he is a really sharp man. If he is inflicting confusion, it is deliberate.

It was kind of sure that his worldwide profession is over, anyway. He final performed a T20I in February 2019; he had retired from Test cricket again in 2014. He has performed no cricket in any respect since July 10, 2019, when India misplaced within the semifinals of the World Cup to New Zealand. There has been nothing since then — there was hypothesis that he would possibly determine on this 12 months’s T20 World Cup if he did nicely within the IPL. Well, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about the T20 World Cup to be cancelled.

After the World Cup defeat, he opted to make himself unavailable for India’s ODI and T20I sequence. No cricket for over 13 months — so, in a means, it may very well be stated Dhoni has been gone for a while…

Mr Brains

The better of Dhoni has been gone for a while, too — his batting has been under peak MSD ranges for not less than 4 years; his giving up captaincy meant that it was not he however Virat Kohli who has been in cost on the sector.

Yet, Kohli by no means received out of Dhoni’s shadow — Kohli needed it this manner. Kohli’s belief within the brains of Dhoni has been evident all these years — finally 12 months’s World Cup, as an illustration, as Dhoni struggled to hit the massive photographs, it appeared that Kohli had Dhoni within the workforce primarily due to his psychological and analytical prowess. Kohli let Dhoni take cost, fortunately. There have been instances when Kohli can be fielding on the boundary whereas Dhoni can be setting the sector in session with the bowler. It’s a mark of Kohli’s self-confidence — and respect for Dhoni — that Kohli may let Dhoni take the management mantle on the sector, for the world to see


This is the type of respect Dhoni has earned for himself in his profession.

Eleven years in the past, when Sachin Tendulkar accomplished 20 years in worldwide cricket, he was requested the identify of the very best captain he had performed beneath. Tendulkar’s reply was Dhoni — this although Tendulkar had performed beneath Dhoni for lower than two years then.

Dhoni earned the respect of his friends by being very cool on the sector, being respectful to his seniors, and by being clearly unambitious — he clearly not determined to be captain or to delay his profession, and thus didn’t play thoughts video games together with his personal teammates.

Dhoni’s achievements have been immense, together with main India to a few ICC trophies (2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 50-over World Cup, 2013 Champions Trophy); he additionally led India to the No. 1 place in Test cricket.

Yet, maybe much more than that, he was one participant followers throughout India may join with — he emerged as a younger man with a cool coiffure Indian youth may relate with, but he’s additionally a person who, regardless of tasting superstardom, remained grounded and at all times went again to his beloved hometown, Rachi.

On the sector, when beneath stress, or when issues wanted to be achieved, he most popular to guide from the entrance — as within the 2011 World Cup ultimate, when he got here in at 114/three after selling himself and made a match-winning 91 not out; or the second innings of the Mohali Test towards Australia in 2008, when he got here in at No. three as India chased fast runs and made 68 off 84 balls.

These type of innings earned him the respect of his friends and analysts.

No one is flawless, and identical goes for Dhoni. But, in steadiness, it may be stated that Dhoni has been superb for Indian cricket and followers.

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