After a year of taking a sabbatical from international cricket, two-time World Cup-winning champion MS Dhoni announced his retirement from the sport today.
MS Dhoni retires from international cricket
Speculations were rife about MS Dhoni’s retirement over the last few months with rumours swirling about him calling it quits from the sport. There was a great deal of anticipation ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) last March when the 39-year-old headed to Chennai for a training camp but fans had to wait longer for his comeback due to the Coronavirus outbreak, drawing the tournament to a pause.
350 ODI matches, 98 T20Is and 90 tests
In an international career spanning 15 years, Dhoni made 350 ODI, 98 T20I and 90 tests appearances scoring 10,773, 1,617 and 4,876 runs respectively. The 39-year-old became the fifth Indian to make it into the elite 10,000 ODI runs club back in 2018, joining the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli.
Here’s a look at one of our favourite innings of MS Dhoni:
Dhoni also earned a spot in ICC’s prestigious ‘ODI Team of the Year’ eight times from 2006 to 2014, the most by any cricketer.
India’s triumphant phase under the captaincy of MS Dhoni
Things went out of hand in the mid-’00s with bad blood between star cricketers like Saurav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag with then-coach Greg Chappell, making numerous changes in the team and forcing select players to change their technique, leading to their downfall in form. It was also a changing phase in Indian cricket when a slew of young cricketers were making their mark into the team.
2007 saw India embarrassingly crash out of the ICC Cricket World Cup in the group stage, and a majority of the senior cricketers made a decision to withdraw from the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup. MS Dhoni was offered an opportunity to captain a young team India featuring the likes of Rohit Sharma, RP Singh, Yusuf Pathan and S Sreesanth, in a team with stars like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan.
Check out India’s victory in the 2007 T20 World Cup final.
India’s T20 World Cup victory paved the way for a dawn of a new era in Indian cricket under MS Dhoni’s captaincy, ranking number one in Test cricket in 2009, winning the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 and clinching the Champions Trophy title in 2013. Not to mention his stint with Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, his team back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011, followed by another win in 2018, as well as winning the Champions League in 2010.
India hasn’t won a hallmark ICC tournament since the Champions Trophy win.
Retirement rumours started since Virat Kohli’s 2019 tweet
Last September saw Virat Kohli tweet a picture of him and Dhoni in the middle of a run chase during a must-win match versus Australia during the T20 World Cup in 2016. Kohli captioned the tweet saying “A game I can never forget. Special night. This man [MS Dhoni], made me run like in a fitness test,” making fans raise eyebrows on whether is the former captain retiring. The following night, MS’ wife, Sakshi Singh Dhoni tweeted denying the speculations, saying “It’s called rumours!”
Last November, Dhoni made a brief statement telling reporters to ask about his comeback in January 2020.
Last match against New Zealand during World Cup semi-final
While Dhoni’s international career boasted of many trophies and accolades, things didn’t end well on the right note for the 39-year-old, with his final appearance in the forgettable semi-final versus New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup in July 2020, scoring 50 from 72 balls in a losing cause. He was seen in tears after losing his wicket to a run-out.
MS Dhoni playing in the IPL this year
It isn’t entirely an end to Dhoni’s cricketing career. The Ranchi-born cricketer will captain the Chennai Super Kings in the upcoming edition of IPL in the UAE this September.
(Featured photograph credit: BCCI)