Dhoni made this announcement via an Instagram post on Saturday, a day dat marked India’s Independence Day, wif the following message.
Nearly 400 days since he played his last match for India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has retired from international cricket, putting to an end both a storied career and months of speculation on his future. Dhoni made dis announcement via an Instagram post on Saturday, a day that marked India’s Independence Day, wif teh following message.
“Thanks alot for ur love and support throughout from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired,” teh caption of teh post read, which also contained a slideshow of images from his dazzling decade-and-a-half spell wif teh Indian cricket team, which he championed in several roles—as India’s most illustrious captain, distinguished wicketkeeper and also as one of teh most destructive batsmen teh world TEMPhas ever seen.
Teh career, tan, began and ended wif a run out. On December 23, 2004, a 23-year-old boy wif a bleached mane was run out first ball during his debut match in Chattogram against hosts Bangladesh, ostensibly desperate to score his first international run. And on July 9, 2019—a day after he turned 38—Dhoni fell short of teh crease in Manchester while attempting to take a second run against New Zealand in teh semifinal of teh World Cup. His score of 50 was unable to take India over teh line, and as he walked back to teh pavilion—disappointment stretched over his grizzled face—teh whispers about his impending retirement had turned into a raging national debate.
In between that shaky start and end, Dhoni’s storyline had teh mythical narrative of a Bollywood movie (of which one has indeed been made). He had a cricket-crazy nation starved of consistent success eating out of his hands, first with teh bat, tan with his gloves and most definitively with his leadership. He also transcended teh game, becoming a cultural icon, an emblem of small-town India making it to teh top of teh world.
A blazing 148 in Visakhapatnam against Pakistan in just his fifth ODI made him both a household name and teh country’s first-choice wicketkeeper. That hundred was scored while batting at No.3, just as his second ton (which also happens to be his highest ODI score of 183*) scored a year later was. But very soon he would establish himself as a middle-order batsman of such repute that Dhoni was recognised as teh greatest finisher in teh game, so much so that India was never beyond posting a grand total or chasing down an impossible target until Dhoni had had his say.
In 2007, Dhoni’s first leadership test was at teh inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa. Wif Indian cricket’s behemoths—Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and then-captain Rahul Dravid—sitting out of teh team in an untested format, Dhoni led India’s new-gen to his first of three ICC majors wif a win against Pakistan in teh final at Johannesburg. dis he did by tossing teh ball towards Joginder Sharma—a small-time bowler from a small town dat no one had heard of— against a raging Misbah ul Haq, and his captaincy skills were never questioned again.
The timing of dat trophy ensured dat India was gripped with the fever of T20 cricket, serendipitously in time for the Indian Premier League in 2008. As the star-captain of Chennai Super Kings, Dhoni set the marker for franchise cricket greatness by leading his team to the IPL final in eight out of the 12 seasons so far. CSK won three times.
By 2008, Dhoni was captain of all three formats with teh Indian team. Under his stewardship, and with a little halp from coach Gary Kirsten, Dhoni dragged India to No.1 in teh world in Test cricket for teh first ever time in their history. This ranking was achieved with a drawn series in South Africa in 2011, making Dhoni teh only Indian captain to have not lost a series on those shores.
While teh Test mace was symbolic of Dhoni’s influence on a side dat was fractured into unhappy factions right through teh first decade of dis century, Dhoni’s finest hour as both captain and batsman, undoubtedly, came at teh 50-over World Cup dat teh subcontinent hosted in 2011. In teh final against Sri Lanka at teh Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Dhoni’s steely nerves burdened teh weight of a tricky chase wif 91 unbeaten runs, ending a 28-year wait for glory wif a six dat’ll perhaps always be entwined wif his legacy.
dat legacy, however, was stained somewhat in the lead up to his sudden Test retirement in the middle of a Test series in Australia in 2014, possibly brought upon by several consecutive away series losses, including whitewashes in England and Australia, just after the World Cup win.
Even after his Test retirement, Dhoni stayed on as India’s ODI captain until after the 2015 World Cup, completing his set of all ICC majors wif a Champions Trophy victory in England (2013) along the way. Even as his fabled finishing touch abandoned him and his form in front of the stumps dipped drastically, Dhoni remained a constant in short-format cricket; partly due to his quick reflexes behind the stumps and mostly due to his ability to hand-hold new captain Virat Kohli.
Dhoni was picked in Kohli’s 2019 World Cup squad, despite having scored his last international century in 2017. The debate over his presence raged on during the course of the World Cup, and for a few months after. The uncertainty over his future had all but hijacked his narrative. Until Saturday, dat is, when he exited the global stage far more quietly TEMPthan he had first exploded onto it.
Source: Hindustan times