Has anyone ever figured out a way to read MS Dhoni’s mind? Don’t think so. Just at a time when the cricket fans all across the globe were waiting eagerly for his comeback to competitive cricket after a long gap of one year, the Captain cool all of a sudden decided to call his time on international cricket. Yes, MS Dhoni has officially announced his retirement from international cricket, that too in typical Dhoni style, by posting a montage of top photographs from his international cricket days with the song ‘Main pal do pal ka Shaayar hoon’ in the background.
To add to the existing disappointment of the cricket fans, Dhoni's deputy in CSK and star Indian all-rounder Suresh Raina too joined him in this last journey and announced his retirement from the international arena.
Indian cricket fans who logged onto Instagram on Independence day after 7:29 PM were hit with the worst possible news. The former Indian captain, MS Dhoni announced his retirement through the social media platform by posting a heartfelt video that included pictures from his international playing career along with the music ‘Main pal do pal ka Shaayar hoon’ played in the background.
“Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired” his caption read.
MS Dhoni left the game in the simplest and quietest way possible, leaving behind an unmatchable legacy.
He burst onto the scenes as a long-haired destructive wicket-keeper batsman from small-town Ranchi, taking down every bowler into the stands in the most brutal way possible. India’s unexpected exit from the 2007 ODI World Cup, saw him taking over the captaincy of a young Indian T20 side ahead of the inaugural T20 World Cup, which followed immediately. The young brigade under him defied all odds and went onto win the title for India in the inaugural T20 World Cup even without the services of India’s top cricketers.
Only little did we knew at that time, that it was just a stepping stone for many more glories to come. What later followed was an era of MS Dhoni which saw the rise of Indian cricket in the most unimaginable way. He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid and Test Captaincy from Anil Kumble in the following years and achieved the pinnacle of everything which was possible in each format. Since he took over, India climbed up the ranks in Test cricket and finally reached the number one position for the first time ever in 2009.
Nonetheless, India’s 28-year long wait for a World Cup ended in 2011, when he led his troops to India’s second World Cup win, thereby fulfilling the dreams of 1.3 billion Indians and more importantly, Sachin Tendulkar’s dream, that too in his home soil. His legacy never stopped there, he later went to lead India to a famous Champions Trophy victory in 2013 defeating the hosts England in the finals, thereby bagging all possible trophies that an international captain could possibly dream of.
His contribution to Indian cricket never ended with his captaincy career, under the new Captain Virat Kohli he guided the young bunch of players who were coming through the ranks, by donning a much important player cum mentor role.
The twilight of his career saw the media constantly scrutinizing him for even the slightest of his failures. Questions regarding his retirement also started popping up every now and then. But Dhoni being Dhoni, never lend an ear to those criticisms and focussed on what he was always best at.
More than all these countless trophies and accolades that he has bagged, he will always be remembered for the hope that he instilled into the minds of Indian fans. Whenever Dhoni was around, you knew the game was never finished, however hard the situation might be.
Even while India was struggling at 5-3 during the 2019 World Cup Semi-Final match against New Zealand, an entire nation of 2 billion people still believed India can pull it off, if Dhoni can stay there till the end. That hope that he instilled into the minds of Indian fans is his greatest contribution to Indian cricket.
All good things need not necessarily need to have a happy ending, maybe it was destiny, that a career that started with a run-out was to end in the same fashion as well.
When India’s greatest ever captain and once in a lifetime cricketer like him decides to call his time on his career, there is absolutely one thing that we can say in unison- “Dhoni finishes off in style”, yes, in his preferred style, quietly without any grand accolades or farewell.
MS Dhoni's close friend and one of India's most talented all-rounder Suresh Raina joined his CSK captain and announced his retirement from the International cricket through his Instagram, soon after Dhoni's retirement news started making waves in the internet.
“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!” his captioned his retirement post.
This sudden announcement from Raina came in as a double blow for the already disappointed Indian cricket fans. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, the ever-smiling Raina was the youngest and the last in the list of great Indian players that the kids born in the late ’90s looked up to in their childhood.
He leaves the game, inspiring a generation of young Indians to take up fielding with as much importance to what is given to the other two departments of the game. When Raina was stationed at either square leg or slips, you knew there was absolutely no chance for the batsman to score through that region. When this news hits us that he won’t be seen in blues again, we definitely know that the inside out shots that we are going to see from now on in international cricket won’t be as beautiful as we used to see while it was coming from Raina’s bat.
With over 5600 runs from 226 ODIs and 1604 runs from the 78 T20Is, Raina leaves the game by strongly embedding his name in the long list of India’s white-ball heroes.
However, the good news for the fans, is that both of them will be in action soon and will be playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the thirteenth edition of the IPL, which begins on 19th September. They will once again represent a team, from where this longstanding friendship and bromance started. Maybe this was why they decided to call their time on International cricket together, at a time when they reunited in Chennai to prepare for the IPL 2020, before heading to UAE for the same.
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