World T20, ODI World Cup, top Test team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni ‘Mahi’ took Team India to the Mt Everest of Cricket

New Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is regarded as one of the world’s best ‘last ball finishers’ and probably the greatest wicket-keeper batsman of his time, on Saturday (August 15) announced his retirement from the international cricket, leaving millions of fans across the globe in a state of shock and utter disbelief.

As if this was not enough, minutes later, following in the footsteps of his favourite captain and mentor, cricketer Suresh Raina too announced his retirement from international cricket.

By announcing to pull the curtains down on his illustrious career, ‘Mahi,’as he is affectionately called, also ended several months-long suspense and intense speculation over his possible retirement. With his, a remarkable era in Cricket also came to an end during which MS Dhoni’s often unorthodox leadership and his great finishing skills became the stuff of the legends.

The two-time World Cup-winning former Team India captain announced his retirement from the international cricket through a post on his Instagram handle. “Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout. From 1929 hrs consider me as retired,” Dhoni wrote on Instagram.

However, this 39-year-old boy from Ranchi will compete in this year’s IPL tournament, which is scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19 after being moved out of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement from Dhoni came a day after he joined his Chennai Super Kings teammates at the side’s home base for a short training camp ahead of the players’ departure to the UAE next week.

The Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI) issued a statement, detailing each one of his historic achievements and lauding “a legacy that will be difficult to replicate.” Board president Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah paid rich tributes to the legendary cricketer.

“It is the end of an era. What a player he has been for the country and world cricket…He will finish with no regrets on the field,” Ganguly said in his message. “He is leaving the game richer from the time he joined,” added Shah.

MS Dhoni’s last outing in Team India colours was during the last World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in July last year.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni retires: Look at record and stats of India’s most successful captain

The boy from Ranchi made his ODI debut in 2004. Under his stewardship, India won the T20 World Cup in 2007, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013. The team also reached the top of the test rankings in 2009 under his leadership.

One of the best runners between the wickets was run out following a hard-earned 50 in that tense game, shattering Indian hopes and leaving him in a state of disbelief. Ever since he went on a sabbatical after that match, speculation raged over his future, but he stoically avoided a response for over a year. 

The reticent man from Ranchi will, however, go down as one of the finest to have played the game for India, turning up for the country in a whopping 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20 Internationals.

The last leg of his career was, however, marred by a drop in form, prompting several critics to question his resolve to continue. But he nevertheless signs off as an ODI legend with 10,773 runs, averaging more than 50 despite batting between No 5 and 7 for a major chunk of his career.

In the Test format, from which he retired in 2014, MS Dhoni accumulated 4876 runs at an average of 38.09 and led India to more wins (27) than anyone else before him.

In T20Is, Dhoni played 98 games, scoring over 1617 runs at a strike rate of 126.13. More importantly, he led India to glory in the inaugural World T20 in 2007. He has a 58.33 winning percentage in this format, with 42 victories in 72 games as captain.

Dhoni, who made his debut against Bangladesh under Sourav Ganguli’s captaincy in 2004, affected a staggering 829 dismissals behind the stumps. However, runs are not the parameter on which Dhoni’s career can be truly judged. 

Considered a punter by some and a master strategist by several others, it was Dhoni’s captaincy, wondrous reading of match situations and the jaw-dropping hand-speed behind stumps that had the cricket world mesmerised. Throughout his career, Dhoni bever hesitated to take risks on the field which looked like a well-thought-out strategy.

Whether it was handing the ball to rookie Joginder Sharma in the final over of the 2007 World T20 or pushing himself ahead of man-in-form Yuvraj Singh in the 2011 50-over World Cup, Dhoni’s instincts rarely failed him.

For the record, India lifted the trophy on both occasions, propelling him to cult status in a country that remains obsessed with all things cricket. The IPL was also his happy hunting ground where he was the revered ‘Thala’, leading the Chennai Super Kings to three trophies.

Here’s Zee News wishing the legendry Indian cricketer “all the best” as ‘Mahi’ gets ready for the second innings of his life.   


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Sagar Biswas

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