Post India’s exit from the 2019 ICC World Cup, a campaign, it seems has begun to force Dhoni to hang up his shoes from the shorter version of the game. It’s well planned game of the vested interest groups who continue to have their own ways, and have their grip on Indian cricket.
22 for 4 in just over ten overs. Six of the top seven batsman accounted for 73 runs in a chase of 240. Dhoni at 7 and Jadeja at 8, forge a partnership, bring the team to the brink of victory, against a spirited side, but India lost. Dhoni scored 50 and succumbed to a superb act of fielding by Martin Guptil.
Critics were out only to put the blame on Dhoni for the result. Even in the match against England in the round robin stage, no one raised an eyebrow on the in- form India’s captain and his deputy gathered 28 runs for one in the first power play while chasing a mammoth 330 plus score. Instead, everyone vented their anger at Dhoni who scored 50 odd at a strike rate of 130. It’s not only hilarious, but shocking as well.
Like as a captain on the field, Dhoni’s decision will stump them. But, in all fairness, the legend should be given the freedom to play as long as he thinks it is okay for him. The moment he feels he is not performing, Dhoni , unlike many players in the past, who were given long ropes played till their last test, will take a call. He wouldn’t wait for a minute, nor ask for time from the BCCI. He will leave the game, the way he had entered and made a mark in 2005
In the Vishakhapatnam one dayer against the visiting Pakistan, the long haired india’s new wicket keeper MS Dhoni was an unknown quantity. In that match he effortlessly hit the Pakistani bowlers all around and over the park and went on to score a belligerent 148. Before, the cricketing would realize who he was, the diminutive small town boy from Jharkhand’s Ranchi had arrived. Dhoni made his statement that day: he had his own style of playing the game.
The fact that, despite his limitations, Dhoni excelled in a side studded with greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman is a proof of his caliber as a top notch professional at the highest level. Definitely, he didn’t have the talent of Tendulkar, techniques of Dravid or class of Laxman. But no one can deny that Dhoni had as good as or even better understanding of the game, than most in the team.
In the years that followed, the entire cricketing fraternity has witnessed what Dhoni did and achieved as a player and more as the captain of the side. As far as the shorter version of the game is concerned, 50 overs and t20 included, Dhoni’s record is unparalleled. Isn’t he the only captain so far in the last 36 years to win the world cup for India, after the great Kapil Dev in 1983?
In the 2007 t20 world cup final, who had ever imagined that he would hurl the ball at Jognider Sharma to bowl the last over when Pakistan was on a rampage? What the move resulted in is well known. That is Dhoni’s style, always unpredictable and unconventional, he will catch you unaware.
Something he did in the middle of the series against Australia, just after the captain’s press conference at the end of the third test. With another test match to be played, Dhoni declared he was resigning from test Cricket. It was unusual for the captain of a visiting side announcing retirement even before the end of the tournament.
That remains and will continue to as a mystery. It’s India’s crickets best kept secret. Going by his character and commitment as well as personality, it’s the least expected from Dhoni.
Why did he quit midway the series? What were the factors? Were there some forces which wanted to the test captaincy should go from Dhoni. If so why? BCCI will never tell the real story. Dhoni is a gentleman, he will never get into the controversy.
Dhoni’s test captaincy attracted criticism till the very end, but he had led India in more Tests and clocked more victories than anyone else in history. With him at the helm, India won an away series in New Zealand, and also recorded historic wins in Durban, Lord’s and Hamilton.
What’s India’s overseas record post 2014? What the quality of opposition? How has the team fared at prestigious tournaments post Dhoni at the helm?
It seems there is a well-oiled machinery working overtime-through media pressure- to see the end of Dhni from Indian cricket. Before criticizing someone, however great the critics may be, should look back at their own achievements. It’s a different story that they suffer from selective amnesia.
Lastly, Dhoni’s critics are aware that Dhoni is too decent and wouldn’t give back like Ravindra Jadeja did to Sanjay Manjrekar , so they can enjoy the liberty.