When I saw captain cool MS Dhoni’s Instagram post about his retirement, all his match-winning thrilling knocks started playing in the flashbacks and especially the exclaimed commentary by Ravi Shastri at the World Cup final nine years back “Dhoni finishes off in style, a magnificent strike into the crowd, India lift the World Cup after 28 years…”.
Captain cool the wicketkeeper
I can easily recall his debut days in 2003-04, ODI wicket-keeping was more of a part-timer position, Rahul Dravid already cemented himself with his unquestionable batting skills ahead of Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik. Right then the flamboyant boy from Ranchi came, saw, and conquered with the special “match-winning” skill that the Indian cricket team always lacks in the likes of a wicketkeeper-batsman. He had a special knack of playing not-out winning knocks while India chasing in final overs (45th -50th over) that no one ever produced with such heavy-hitting and consistency.
A stumper, hard-hitter who turned into a natural captain and displayed how to win all three formats of ICC tournaments – ICC World Cup in 2011, T20 World Cup in 2007, ICC Champion trophy in 2013. Arguably the best runner between the wickets started his cricketing career with a run-out duck in 2004 and ironically ended his career in the World cup semifinal 2019 getting run out again!
ODI Top 5 of Dhoni in India colors, my personal favorites
- 91* against Sri Lanka – World Cup 2011 (Six to seize the World Cup)
- 183* against Sri Lanka – 2005 (With his charismatic long hair, a fantastic chasing once again, ten sixes in that innings)
- 44* against Australia – at Adelaide in 2012 (giant six in the last over, a thriller to watch)
- 50* against Sri Lanka – at Adelaide in 2008 (last over thriller again)
- 46* in the rain-shortened match against West Indies 2009 (Six in the last over, a thriller to watch)
Dhoni’s Indian Premier League (IPL) career is even more glorified than his Test/ ODI career, he is the face of the Chennai Super Kings franchise with three IPLs titles (2010/ 2011/ 2018) and two Champions League titles (2010/ 2014). He has made the most number of dismissals, the most number of catches, stumpings & many records in IPL so far. Thus CSK tweeted recently “MS will play for CSK as long as he wants as a captain”.
Despite terrific bat swing, the fierce hard-hitting capability it is very surprising how he could absorb all the emotions inside him even after hitting a six and win a World Cup for India, that’s why he is named “Captain Cool”, the most successful captain of Indian cricket team ever with 27 Test wins surpassed Sourav Ganguly’s 21 Test win record.
He was also one of the fittest cricketers who led by example with numerous catches behind the stump and won countless matches for India with stumping, gloving skills.
With his greatness, Dhoni has been the recipient of many prestigious awards like “Padma Bhusan”, “Padmashree” and honorary “Lieutenant Colonel” by Territorial Army. Wish him all the luck for his leftover IPL’20 career and next innings of life.
Let us share your memories, thoughts about the legend in the comment section.