MS Dhoni’s decision to step down as captain of the Indian ODI and T20 series on Wednesday took everyone by surprise. With this the curtains came down on one of India’s greatest talismanic captain. Though Dhoni will be playing as a team member a prospect most of his fans would never have thought of.
In a typical Dhoni like decision, it was the sheer timing which left pundits wondering. While there was no doubt that Virat Kohli was increasingly making his presence felt with his string of aggressive captaincy in the Tests format, Dhoni’s sudden decision to step down as captain of the shortened versions has taken a lot of people by surprise.
“I still think that the timing of his move has taken a lot of people by surprise. I think he could have been captain of the Indian ODI and T 20 teams. But then he must have thought a lot about this before taking this decision, “ said a former cricketer.
Another cricketer felt that the Indian ODI and T20 captain might not be enjoying leading the side now as he done before. “I suspect that Dhoni might not be enjoying leading the team like he used to do before. Once you stop enjoying what you are doing, then things tend to become difficult, “felt the former cricketer.
Unpredictably was one of Captain Dhoni’s fortes. “Time and again he would end up surprising his opponents by coming up with some outlandish ideas. But of late, he seems to have run short of ideas. He has become much predictable and also at times seems to have run short of ideas. This might have prompted him to step down,” opined another cricketer.
It must be mentioned here that under Dhoni, Team India won just about every major international tournament—something which no other Indian captain has achieved. Dhoni’s men won the International Cricket Council (ICC) World T20 title in 2007, the World Cup victory in 2011 and lifted the Champions Trophy in 2013. He also took India to the zenith of the Test rankings during his tenure. He is the only captain in world cricket to win each of the ICC trophies.
Hailing Dhoni’s feats BCCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rahul Johri said: “On behalf of every Indian cricket fan and the BCCI, I would like to thank M.S. Dhoni for his outstanding contribution as the captain of the Indian team across all formats.”
“Under his leadership, Indian team has touched new heights and his achievements will remain etched forever in the annals of Indian cricket,” he added.
vMeanwhile, former BCCI president Anurag Thakur hailed Dhoni as “one of the finest leaders”. “Hey @msdhoni yuv been one of the finest leaders of Indian Cricket @BCCI, led the team to great heights & inspired so many across countries!,” Thakur wrote on Twitter.
Thakur was joined by noted cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle and 2012 Olympic bronze medal-winning shooter Gagan Narang in highlighting Dhoni›s achievements as India captain.
Bhogle said: “World T20, World Cup, Champions Trophy, Test No 1, IPL titles, Champions League titles. Everything in the game. #Dhoni.”
Bhogle also commented that this was a selfless move. “Clearly Dhoni thinks the moment has come. Thought he would quit after the Champions Trophy, but this is a selfless move.
“Trying to think like #Dhoni. Kohli most likely 2019 World Cup captain, so best that he leads in the Champions Trophy so best he starts now.”