MS Dhoni, the most successful captain of Indian cricket with three ICC Trophies, broke the silence on his future in international cricket by sharing a post on Instagram on Saturday evening. He has announced his retirement and confirmed via a video, a four-minute-long clip of his international career, and the caption read: “Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout, from 1929 hours consider me as retired.”
Mahi retires as India’s most successful captain in limited-over internationals. The 39-year-old batsman and wicket-keeper, who led the national team and his IPL franchise to many victories, signed his social media handle with a simple message. Soon social media started trending online with his name and #DhoniRetires, and a tribute was paid to all the quarters remembering some of his greatest contributions to Indian cricket and how he changed the game forever for many cricket lovers. While they continued to rally behind him and demand a farewell match, the trade brands also joined in showing their love for Dhoni.
Dhoni has been one of the best wicketkeeper-batsman to play international cricket and his record speaks for itself. The 2011 World Cup-winning captain is only the second wicketkeeper-batsman to touch the 10,000-run mark. Sangakkara was the first one to achieve the landmark.
Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India won the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the World Twenty20 in 2007. Dhoni led India to victory in the ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2013. Mahi’s last match for India was played for two days on 9 and 10 July in the semi-finals of the World Cup 2019 for New Zealand at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Dhoni, who had announced his retirement from the Test in 2014, has played 350 One Day Internationals (ODI) and 98 T20 Internationals (T20I). In 350 ODIs, Mahi had scored 10773 runs at an average of 50.57. He has 10 centuries and 73 fifties to his name which is a huge achievement. In January 2019, Dhoni added another feather to his cap as he became the fifth Indian and 12th overall in ODI history scoring 10,000 runs. He achieved the milestone during the first ODI against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 12 January.
Dhoni made it to the elite list with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Kumar Sangakkara, Brian Lara, and Sanath Jayasuriya.
Mahi’s future was a hot topic of speculation since his sabbatical from cricket following India’s World Cup exit. Ever since New Zealand lost, Dhoni has not played any form of cricket in the last one year, hinting that he may have played his last match in Indian colors. However, Dhoni would be turning to the IPL, where he will captain the Chennai Super Kings in the UAE in the 13th season of the tournament.
Dhoni’s Cricket Career: 2004-2020
Dhoni emphasized the scene as a 23-year-old batsman who made his India debut in an ODI match against Bangladesh in December 2004. The following year, he scored a century in his first ODI – 148 vs Pakistan at Vizag which shot him to prominence. Later that year, he scored 183 not out against Sri Lanka in Jaipur, his highest individual score in ODIs and the best performance by a wicketkeeper in ODIs. In 2006, He registered his maiden Test hundred (148) against Pakistan in Faisalabad and played a brutal knock on the ODI leg to help India secure a five-match series 4–1.
After a disappointing performance in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, Dhoni was given the charge of a young Indian team to play the T20 World Cup for the first time in South Africa, where India defeated Pakistan to win the title in the final. From there, Dhoni’s career as a batsman and captain progressed and reached unprecedented heights. In March of 2008, he defeated the hosts in back-to-back finals, leading India to the CB tri-series in Australia.
Taking over captaincy in Tests after Anil Kumble retired at the end of 2008, in 2009, Dhoni lifted India to the pinnacle of the ICC Test rankings for the first time and won a Test series in New Zealand, which saw him establish himself as a force to win again. He surpassed Sourav Ganguly as India’s most successful Test captain and raised his captaincy record to 27 wins in 60 matches, a record that stood until Virat Kohli’s better last year.
In 2010, under Dhoni, India won the Asia Cup, beating Sri Lanka in a big way in the final after 15 years. It was the perfect way to warm up to come forward. With the World Cup returning to India after 15 years, India was the hot favorite to lift the most prized trophy in cricket, and under Dhoni’s leadership, India fulfilled its 28-year-long dream. Struggling for runs in the tournament, Mahi saved his best for last. He scored an unbeaten 91 to help India chase 275 against Sri Lanka. The winning six, with Dhoni eyeing Nuwan Kulasekara, will be the most iconic moment in Indian cricket.
After the World Cup, under Dhoni’s captaincy, the triumph of victory in Test matches began. India were blanked 0–4 in England and Australia, but Dhoni revived his captaincy career by leading India to victory in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, thus completing a triumph of the ICC Trophy. Dhoni pushed India closer to three more world titles, but they could not bring the team in line. India finished runners-up in the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh, followed by the semi-finals in the 2015 World Cup and 2016 World T20. In January 2016, Dhoni led India 3–0 over Australia in the T20Is.
In January of 2017, Dhoni stepped in as India’s limited-overs captain but continued to play. In the second match since his announcement, Dhoni played a century of 134 against England in Cuttack. It would also prove to be his last ODI century. Under Kohli, Dhoni was an important part of India’s 2019 World Cup campaign, with the semi-final clash against New Zealand – which was a two-day affair – he almost got India home. He walked off the field without showing too much emotion, a trait that was synonymous with Dhoni throughout his career.
The song, played in the background of MS Dhoni’s retirement Sholay, was called “Mein pal do pal ka shayar hu…..,”. Although Dhoni may consider himself as’ Pal Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar’’ for fans he will always remain a legend of the game. The 2011 World Cup-winning captain announced his retirement via Instagram, so heartbreaking.
Ever since Mahindra Singh Dhoni retired, social media has been influenced by messages that paid tribute to the former Indian captain. The Australian cricketer, from past and present who witnessed MS Dhoni’s career, also paid his heartfelt tribute.