The third Twenty20 International in Bangalore on Wednesday could be MS Dhoni’s last at home if the felicitation given to him by the India team management is any indication. (Cricket score | Match highlights )
The entire India team felicitated MS Dhoni with a photo frame featuring his picture along with images of the 2007 World T20, the ICC Test mace in 2009, 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Yuzvendra Chahal claimed six wickets for 25 runs to bamboozle the England batsman and help India clinch the third Twenty20 international at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.
The 75-run victory ensured that England would return empty handed from their long tour of India, who completed a clean sweep of the Tests, one-dayers and T20 contests.
MS Dhoni powered India to 202 for five in 20 overs.Dhoni hit 56 off 36 balls and Suresh Raina smashed 67 off 45 balls to help the home team recover from the early loss of Virat Kohli’s wicket.
Dhoni had a very successful T20 series against England -- the former skipper scoring 97 runs from three matches with an average of 48.50 and a strike rate of 138.57. Dhoni had a good ODI series as well, scoring 165 from three matches including a century (134) with an average of 55 and a strike rate of 100.
The BCCI tweeted the picture barely an hour before the Bangalore match began.
What gives more weight to the theory that this could be Dhoni’s last international game at home was the presence of Rohit Sharma who isn’t taking part in the ongoing series due to an injury.
The next ODIs India play at home could be in October, against Australia. It’s possible MS Dhoni might not stretch his career beyond the Champions Trophy in England, in July. A lot will depend on his form and hunger to excel in a young team brimming with talent.
His sudden Test retirement in Australia showed how MS Dhoni doesn’t want to make a public spectacle of what possibly is the most personal and emotional decision a cricketer ever takes.
Dhoni is not made for send-offs and Wednesday’s private affair prompts that inkling that Dhoni is readying himself for a quiet exit.
Having kicked off his era with a century where he feasted on Pakistan in Vizag, Dhoni was a one of a kind cricketer who never really catered to Tests but revelled in shorter formats.
The felicitation, quite interestingly, happened at the same venue Dhoni had almost mocked a journalist in open forum after asking him to join him on the dais during the World Twenty20 last year.
That Australian journalist had only fairly asked Dhoni about his future plans. Turns out MS Dhoni didn’t have many months on him as player since that day.