Last week MS Dhoni announced retirement from all forms of International cricket. With this, an era of Indian cricket which gave us some great cricketers including Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Virendra Sehwag and Dhoni himself, comes to an end. I have been attached to cricket for a long time now and grew up watching these legends. Dhoni was really a gem in the cricketing world.
A boy from the city of Ranchi, whose football coach was also his wicket-keeping coach and who had to work in the railway station of Kharagpur for nearly three years rose to become the only Indian captain to win all the three ICC trophies in cricket. This was MSD. He is an inspiration for all the youngsters in small towns. Not that, he was the first player from a small town to play for India, but, certainly was the first person from a small town who had a crazy fan following.
Anyone who follows cricket would know that Dhoni had a ‘poor’ (since he is MS Dhoni, so the word ‘unconventional’ is used instead) batting as well as keeping technique, but he achieved miracles with this. This is where, being from the backwaters of cricket and not having a formal cricket coaching helped him. Any formal coach would have changed his technique and ruined his performance. I am also a great admirer of how well he reads the game. He had done incredibly well batting at top of the order but soon changed his role for the team and became a finisher. He could have ended with many more centuries in the first case, but he knew what was best for his team. So, without actually reading ‘The Law of Comparative Advantage’, he applied it on the field. Best example of his brilliant mind is when in World Cup 2011 Finals, he took the decision of going to bat before Yuvraj Singh, who had done incredibly well in the whole tournament and it turned out to be a match winning decision with Dhoni scoring 91 not out.
We all know the legacy of this great man, but he has faced challenges as well. Most recent was the 2019 World Cup semi-final. And 2018 was definitely the worst year, with Dhoni scoring just 275 in 20 ODIs. From allegations of conflict of interests to wearing the gloves with a Balidaan Badge, Dhoni has also been a part of controversies. Despite all these, he will be remembered for the efforts he gave for his team and for his sport. He will be remembered for the Helicopter shot and phenomenal strength. He will be remembered for his hairstyles and most importantly, those last over finishes. I would end by what Vivek Kaul wrote in his article “MS Dhoni- where Would I Get That Adrenaline Rush Again?”-
“India has had greater batsmen who have scored more runs and more centuries than Dhoni.
India has had greater batsmen who have been technically more competent than Dhoni.
In fact, India has even had wicket keepers with a better technique than Dhoni
…But then none of these gentlemen could hit the helicopter shot
…..And when it comes to getting the adrenaline going… that rush… that feeling of ecstasy… that feeling that we are going to win… nobody can beat Dhoni. Absolutely nobody.
I am going to miss him.”