MS Dhoni - A Captain Who took India To New Heights In Limited Over Cricket
They say all good things must come to an end. After being at the helm for nine years, MS Dhoni must have said to himself, enough is enough. Captains always have a shelf life and in more ways than one, India have been lucky to have had Dhoni for such a long time.
He took over at a time when the senior players decided they weren’t quite cut out for a T20 World Cup and tasted immediate success. Little did people know that he would go on to become one of the greatest limited overs captains. As the list of trophies started becoming longer, the long hairs had to compromise for it. Now that he has given up the captaincy, he would be hoping that there would be a reduction in the grey hair!
Statistically, MS Dhoni is India’s greatest limited overs captain. He remains the only captain to have won all three major ICC tournaments. That is by no means a small achievement. In fact, there might not be another captain who will be able to repeat that feat.
A T20 World Cup triumph came when people least expected it. Then came a World Cup title, 28 years after India had first won it. By then, he had set lofty expectations. If that wasn’t enough, a Champions Trophy win came a couple of years later. 110 wins from 199 ODIs and 41 wins from 72 T20Is is a mighty impressive record.
As a captain, he took some harsh decisions. What he also did was back players like Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to come good. He brought about a sense of calmness which was second to none. Very rarely did he get flustered and that was probably his biggest strength.
He believed in the fact that no match is over until the last ball is bowled or until the last wicket was taken. It was this philosophy which saw him take matches till the last over and then finish them off with trademark sixes. More often than not he managed to pull it off!
He gives up the captaincy at a time when Kohli has tasted success as Test skipper. At 35 years of age, he might as well focus on his batting and enjoy the time he has left in international cricket. Kohli, in all likelihood, should take over the reins and this decision gives him time to build a team for the 2019 World Cup.
Dhoni’s contribution as a captain will tough to match and there is no doubt that the incoming captain will have a tough time to even come close to the lofty standards he had set. As a spectator though, I would hope that there are a few more helicopter shots and a few more lightning quick stumpings still to come. Thank you skipper!