MS Dhoni brings curtains down on glorious international career, Suresh Raina follows former India captain into retirement
Dhoni last played for India in the heartbreaking ICC World Cup semi-final loss against New Zealand in July 2019. It was another one of those gritty knocks which Dhoni created a career out of, but it wasn’t enough to take India home on that fateful day.Updated: Aug 16, 2020 07:21 IST
Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday brought an end to all debates and discussions surrounding his future in international cricket as he announced his decision to retire with a message for his fans on social media in what can be termed as ‘trademark Dhoni style’.
“Thanks. Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. From 1929 hrs consider me as Retired,” Dhoni wrote on his Instagram page along with a video.
It wasn’t just Dhoni who decided to walk away from the international stage. His long time Team India teammate and trusted lieutenant Suresh Raina, who will be representing Chennai Super Kings in the IPL along with Dhoni, too decided to call it quits. He too informed his fans about his decision through a message on social media.
“It was nothing but lovely playing with you, @mahi7781 . With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India. Jai Hind!” the southpaw wrote on his Instagram page.
Dhoni last played for India in the heartbreaking ICC World Cup semi-final loss against New Zealand in July 2019. It was another one of those gritty knocks which Dhoni created a career out of, but it wasn’t enough to see India home on that fateful day.
A man, who started his international career with a run out, fell short of his crease again, in what eventually was his last outing in an India jersey.
For Raina though, it wasn’t as celebrated an end to a career that promised so much more. He played a pivotal role during India’s 2011 ICC World Cup, scoring crucial runs in the knock-out matches against Australia and Pakistan, before Dhoni finished it off in style with a six in the final against Sri Lanka, to end India’s 28-year long wait to become ODI world champions again.
Raina retires with more than 5000 runs in ODIs. His was a career full of crucial knocks and partnerships that helped India win matches in what can easily be termed as its golden period. But his Test career, which started with a century on debut , lasted only 18 matches. The southpaw’s weakness against the short ball ended his chances of a long run in whites for the Indian team.
Dhoni though went on to play 90 Test matches for India, out of which he led the team in 60. He won 27 matches and remains the second most successful skipper in whites behind his protege Virat Kohli. Dhoni’s aggregate of 10,773 runs in 350 ODIs puts him in the fifth spot among top run scorers for India in 50-over cricket. Interestingly, he is the only cricketer apart from Kohli, who is still playing, to have an average of over 50 in ODIs among batsmen with more than 10,000 runs to their name. It is indeed a phenomenal feat for a batsman who batted in the middle order throughout his career.
Dhoni’s decision led to an outpour of emotions from fellow and former Indian and international cricketers, who praised the once in a generation player.
“It is the end of an era. What a player he has been for the country and world cricket. His leadership qualities have been something, which will be hard to match, especially in the shorter format of the game. His batting in one-day cricket in his early stages made the world stand up and notice his flair and sheer natural brilliance. Every good thing comes to an end and this has been an absolutely brilliant one,” former India captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said in an official release issued by BCCI.
“He has set the standards for the wicketkeepers to come and make a mark for the country. He will finish with no regrets on the field. An outstanding career; I wish him the best in life,” he added.
While former India captain and legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is often credited for discovering Dhoni’s leadership qualities and pushing him for the role of India’s captain lauded Dhoni for his contribution towards Indian cricket.
“Your contribution to Indian cricket has been immense, @msdhoni. Winning the 2011 World Cup together has been the best moment of my life. Wishing you and your family all the very best for your 2nd innings,” Sachin wrote on Twitter.
As the dust settles in the days to come on this massive decision taken by one of India’s finest cricketers ever, there will always be a lingering desire among Indian fans to have seen Dhoni one last time in India colours. But they can take solace in the fact that he will be in action in the IPL soon.
As they say, the show must go on, but ‘Elvis has left the building’.