Leader. Warrior. Champion.
These are words that any sportsperson would die to be associated with. Literally any. Then you have M.S. Dhoni, a man who has been and will continue to be associated with all the three words regularly.
There is nothing that has not been said about Dhoni. His records are there for all to see. He has surpassed even the great Kapil Dev and the icon Sourav Ganguly to become the most successful Captain that Indian Cricket has ever had. That his successor, Virat Kohli, might surpass his record is just a testimony to how bright the future of Indian Cricket is.
Dhoni has won it all. He has the ICC Champions Trophy, the ICC Cricket World Cup (the ODI format) and the ICC Wold Twenty20 trophies in his cabinet. He has also led India to the top of the ICC Test Rankings. Let’s not forget that he has also won the IPL trophy and the Champions League trophy. He is on top of the world, no doubt. He not only has the Midas touch, but also has the sheer will power that has helped him conquer it all and become the only Captain to have ever done it. The world’s best. Virat Kohli, you have got big boots to fill.
It’s time however for a change. No one knows it better than Dhoni himself. He knows exactly what is right for the team. Just have a look at the way in which he shocked the world by coming out to bat ahead of Yuvraj Singh in the final of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. He literally just strolled into the ground ahead of the man who was having a dream purple patch and undoubtedly the best World Cup possible. Dhoni ended it with a six, a twirl of his bat, a hug from Yuvraj who was at the non-striker’s end and the Man of the Match along with the World Cup in his hands!
I feel that the most important reason for him stepping down is clearly the hunger that he has to play on till the 2019 World Cup which is evident from the response he gave to an interviewer after the India vs West Indies Semifinal in the ICC World T20 2016 in which West Indies went through to the final after defeating India by 7 wickets.
Dhoni’s retirement from the Test team after stepping down from captaincy has seen India rise again to be the best team in the world. Let’s hope for the same in the future ODI and T20 rankings. He’s still there to play his part, so it will be an added bonus. The future is bright. Till the dreaded day when he finally hangs up his boots, let’s just enjoy his time in the middle and wish him all the best. May Dhoni the batsman be even more successful for India than Dhoni the Captain!
“It’s a day to celebrate his successful captaincy and respect his decision. Wish MSD the very best as he continues entertaining us on the field with his exploits,” says Sachin Tendulkar about Dhoni’s decision. When the world’s best batsman speaks about the world’s best captain, you’ve just got to listen!
Leader. Warrior. Champion. M.S. Dhoni, it’s been a treat. Respect.