It can be argued whether Dhoni timed his retirement well. There’s never a right time for such things. And these discussions happen irrespective of whenever a player of substance opts for retirement . It happened when Gavaskar, Kapil and Ganguly retired.
Arguably India’s most successful stumper and keeper, what cannot be argued is the fact that he was indeed Mr Cool. A man with nerves of steel, he had the uncanny ability to give his best under the most trying circumstances. And what he and before him Kapil and Ganguly could be credited with is teaching the Indian team the killer instinct that was sadly amiss in the earlier years.
The only wicket keeper captain to win all ICC championships in all three formats, he could change his style of playing depending on the circumstances and game format. That’s what gave him longevity in today’s competitive times. 18 years in official cricket is helluva lot of period in today’s times. Credit must be given to his fighting spirit, fitness and hunger for winning.
Social media groups are agog with needless discussion whether he was greatest ever. Such discussions happen and feelings experienced every time a legend calls it a day – it happened when Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Kapil, Dravid, VVS called it a day.
While wicket keepers and stumpers play an important part in a team – they keep wickets as also uplift the morale of the team – in India, spinners have always played an important role. Whether it was Vinu Mankad or trio of Bedi, Prasanna and Chandra or Dilip Doshi, Maninder, Shivlal Yadav, Hirwani, Kumble, Ashwin et al – role of wicket keeper as a stumper becomes very critical. Therefore, Dhoni and before him Engineer and Kirmani, acquired almost cult status adding that extra edge to art of Indian spin bowling.
Whether it was leading India to World Cup victory or ICC T 20 or as long serving member of CSK – Dhoni’s memories are going to last for long long time to come amongst the cricket lovers of this country.
It’s a bit of an irony that Dhoni decided to hang his boots shortly after his screen portrayer Sushant Singh Rajput chose suicide as an option as a solution for his depression. While there is speculation on his suicide, there’s no speculation on the fact that Sushant immortalised MSD in the film of the same name. How a small time boy from Ranchi went all the way to acquire cult status and become one of the most adorable darlings of cricket fans is the stuff folklores are made of ! Musharraf loved his hair style, few loved his helicopter shot, a few others loved his captain cool image, but no doubt everyone loved the man MSD and will continue to love him as long as the game of cricket is played. In a sense, Dhoni immortalised Sushant the way Sushant immortalised him on the screen ! Playing Dhoni became silver lining in his short career whose long career is the silver lining on the game of cricket in India.
Who will keep his cool in trying times?
Who will hit those sixers ?
Genuine talent like MSD is rare;
In today’s times of fixers!!!
Stay happy MSD in whatever you do in your next innings. Good wishes and love of millions of cricket lovers will always be with you.