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Mahendra Singh Dhoni as India ODI, T20I captain: A look at his captaincy stint

MS Dhoni has had arguably one of the most successful periods as anybody as Indian captain.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: January 4, 2017 11:43:27 pm
MS Dhoni became the first Indian captain in nearly 30 years to lift the ICC World Cup. (Source: PTI)

MS Dhoni stepped down as India’s ODI and T20 captain on Wednesday, a position he has held since 2007. Dhoni’s ascent to the top gained momentum after India’s disastrous run at the 2007 ICC World Cup, when questions were raised over Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. The inaugural T20 World Cup that followed, required a new leadership and fresh faces in the squad. Youngsters like Rohit Sharma were given a chance and MS Dhoni was handed over the captaincy. India, from being out in the group stage of the ICC World Cup earlier in the year, went on to lift the inaugural T20 World Cup.

Rahul Dravid soon relinquished his ODI Captaincy and MS Dhoni took charge. The highlight of Dhoni’s tenure as captain has been India clinching the 2011 ICC Word Cup, the country’s first since Kapil Dev lifted the trophy in 1983. Dhoni played a captain’s knock in the final, making an unbeaten 91 off 79 deliveries. One of the most enduring images of the tournament was when he scored the winning runs by clearing Nuwan Kulasekara’s delivery over the boundary.

Dhoni was anointed as the captain of the Indian Test team, just a year after he took over the skipper role in limited overs cricket. In his first few games as captain, he churned out some of India’s best performances in the long format of the game. But after eight straight Test losses away from home, Dhoni the captain came under immense pressure, which was accentuated by a 2-1 home series loss to England in 2012-13, the first time India had lost at home in more than eight years. This coupled with Dhoni’s diminishing contributions with the bat in Tests fed speculation that he may be replaced as Test captain. He put it to rest by ending his Test career in 2014.

Dhoni’s cool and composed demeanor worked wonders for the team in the shorter formats of the game. It was something that earned him the nickname ‘Captain Cool.’ His habit of scoring runs in the final over the match also led to him being known as one of the best finishers in the game.

Virat Kohli’s success as Test captain led to calls for him being made India’s captain in all three formats of the game. With Dhoni now stepping down, that may be the case in the upcoming series against England. However, Dhoni said that he will be available for selection to play in the series.

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