Captain MS Dhoni Says Goodbye
India’s most lauded and celebrated leader and player post Sachin Tendulkar, ex captain MS Dhoni or ‘Thala’ as he’s fondly called by fans of his second home, Chennai where he plays for CSK in the IPL, decided to put an end to his international career through an Instagram post on the symbolic occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day i.e 15th August, 2020.
That led to a host of current and former players, greats in their own right applauding MSD’s strategic acumen and calm and cool nature even in the most tiring and tough conditions. Dhoni has rightly been receiving praise from the cricketing world. Something he should get and rightly so for his achievements. He won three world titles and took India to number one in the test rankings.
BCCI is hopeful of hosting a farewell match for ‘Thala’ Dhoni
MS Dhoni is not someone who wants the limelight to be on him. He is almost too humble on certain occasions. But maintaining a calm exterior on and off the field and just being so stoic irrespective of failures or success is something that attracts him to people who don’t follow the game very closely.
MS Dhoni’s leadership style and ability to be cool always is a big reason for his huge and ardent fan following. Also what even his critics can’t deny is his unassuming nature. A flurry of experts across cricketing circles have heaped praise on MS Dhoni as a leader and player.
But many of MS Dhoni’s ardent fans or MSDians as they are called want a proper farewell match to be organized for their hero, idol and inspiration. It’s something not many great Indian players who have contributed to the glory one associates with MSD as a captain have got.
A final farewell?
But considering the impact the young lad from Ranchi has had on the way India’s cricket has progressed across formats once he became captain, it is only fair that BCCI and all of MS Dhoni’s fans should get to see him in a farewell match. Whether it be a T20I or ODI.
BCCI planned and reworked the scheduling in a way to have a Test match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to allow the ‘Little Master’ to bow out on a high from the international arena in his home ground. The same should happen with ex captain MS Dhoni.
Also, Read – The Top 5 Batting Pairs For India In ODI’s
Speaking on the farewell match, a BCCI official said that they are planning for the game after the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), scheduled to start on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“There is no international series right now, maybe after IPL we will see what can be done because MS Dhoni has done a lot for the nation and he deserves all the respect. We always wanted to have a farewell match for him but MS Dhoni is a different player. He announced his retirement when nobody was thinking of it,” the official was quoted as saying in The New Indian Express.
Timing of MS Dhoni’s retirement seems appropriate
Considering MSD is 39 years of age, and he certainly isn’t the force he was even in the IPL 2018 where one got to see the attacking style of his batting return. Perhaps ex captain MS Dhoni calculated his departure from international cricket pretty well.
He made himself unavailable for selection post India’s exit from the World Cup. Despite what he has done for Indian cricket, it would have been extremely harsh on KL Rahul or Rishabh Pant if MSD returned straight to the T20 Squad.
The captain and player MS Dhoni perhaps would have played, had the World T20 continued as scheduled.
For someone who has helped and groomed youngsters whist he was captain of India, and also for CSK in the IPL, his decision allows the likes of Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul and Sanju Samson to express themselves even better.
This could allow them to prove their worth. They now have less pressure. India’s most successful captain MS Dhoni will not attempt to reclaim his place again.
Undoubtedly one of Indian cricket’s finest exponents will be missed
Despite MS Dhoni’s rather shocking numbers as a Test captain overseas, the fact is he has managed to take India to #1 in the ICC Test rankings. For any pitfall or a continuous slump in form as a skipper or cricketer, he has somehow managed to deliver winning results in a major tournament soon after.
So he has three world titles and has won three IPL trophies for his franchise CSK in the IPL apart from taking India to #1 in Test cricket. The numbers speak for themselves, and this pretty much nullifies MS Dhoni’s flaws or weaknesses as a player/skipper.
Certainly, MS Dhoni’s impact on Indian cricket’s growth after the iconic win in the ICC World T20 in 2007 is unparalleled. A generation of fans that idolized Sachin Tendulkar slowly but steadily starting gravitating to the lad with the long flowing hair from Ranchi.
MS Dhoni’s success in blues or in the IPL has paved the way for many bright and amazing talent to dream big and make it into the team.
If there was to be a face of the IPL it surely would be MS Dhoni. He has been superb for CSK. Getting into the playoffs all ten seasons they were a part of is no mean achievement and winning the coveted trophy thrice speaks for itself.
Also, Watch – Captain MS Dhoni as a T20 superstar
With MS Dhoni’s and Suresh Raina’s retirement a generation of cricket fans especially Indian cricket fans have seen the last few players from that era depart from the international scene. It’s an extremely weird and strange feeling.
The greatest ever?
There can be a debate on whether MS Dhoni through the laurels he has brought for India by winning three ICC titles (no other Indian captain has managed to do that) would go down as India’s finest captains ever, but undoubtedly he would go down as among the finest exponents to have come out of India.
Also, Read – Picking India’s All-Time Test XI.
His wicket-keeping skills, ability to absorb pressure situations with amazing precision and just his calm presence that was guiding even Virat Kohli in the ICC World Cup 2019 will be missed.
Every legend will have his fair share of critics and admirers. I personally haven’t liked or been that much in awe of MS Dhoni and have been frank and open about that, especially MS Dhoni, the Test match cricketer and captain.
Nevertheless, keeping the reasons for me not being his admirer or fan, I have enjoyed his wicket-keeping skills and I feel as a wicket-keeper/batsman, MS Dhoni would probably be India’s best on that regard.
You have had a fantastic and inspiring career Mahi! Cricket would certainly would miss someone like you playing for India, but I certainly would be looking forward to see you don the hat of ‘Thala’ from September 19th onwards!
People may hate you, admire you but certainly you will be missed! And I would like to end this with this line one of my friend said about MS Dhoni’s retirement,” MSD is Sourav Ganguly with the titles”.
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images