MS Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday after playing 90 Tests, 350 one-day internationals, and 98 Twenty20s for India.
A livewire both between and behind the stumps, Dhoni was renowned for his excellent judgment of a run between the 22 yards. However, despite his incredible running between the wickets, he has often been run-out on the biggest stage. In fact, Dhoni’s international career both started and ended with a run-out, one of the cruellest ironies. In his retirement post on Instagram, he added his debut duck and ended it with a frame of his getting run out in the World Cup semi-final.
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The boy from Ranchi made his ODI debut in 2004. Coming in at number seven, he nudged a delivery from Bangladesh’ Mohammad Rafique to square leg and set off for a non-existent single, only to be sent back by his partner Mohammad Kaif. Unfortunately, he got run out for a duck.
His first ODI innings ended with a duck. However, he now leaves behind a rich legacy that will be difficult to replicate.
Under his stewardship, India won the T20 World Cup in 2007, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013. The team also reached the top of the test rankings in 2009 under his leadership.
Dhoni’s last bow
Incidentally, in his last match in national colours, he was once again tragically run out during India’s World Cup sem-final game against eventual runners-up New Zealand in 2019. In the tense encounter at Manchester, India was in a spot of bother chasing 240 but Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni restored the balance.
Towards the end, as the game went down to the wire, all hopes were on Dhoni’s shoulders. But fate had a cruel twist in store. After tucking a ball towards the leg-side, Dhoni set off for a quick double to retain the strike, but Martin Guptill’s moment of magic found the former Indian skipper short of his ground to dash any hopes of an Indian win.
Dhoni has not been one to talk about his regrets. However, later on, reflecting back at this run-out, he rued on not putting in a dive to avoid getting dismissed.
Saved this clip.. hoped never to use it. 😢
MS Dhoni.. walking off for the last time in Team India colours! 🇮🇳🏏🏆🙌👏
— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) August 15, 2020
Keeping emotions aside, it can be arguably said that MS Dhoni’s career has come full circle.