Team India one-day international (ODI) and T20 captain MS Dhoni has resigned. And with this decision he has inked yet another first in Indian cricket – quitting without actually being ordered or forced to call it quits by the BCCI powers-that-be. Dhoni’s retirement was self chosen while from from Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Sourav Ganguly to Sachin Tendulkar, left when they were criticized for their waning form and play.
MS Dhoni was handed the captaincy of Team India when no one in their dreams had thought that this member of India’s favourite team would ever be crowned skipper. But by the virtue of her cool temperament and true sportsmanship he was made captain of the Indian team. It was the cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar who floated Dhoni’s name at a very critical time in Indian cricketing history when the team was in trouble. This was eagerly accepted by BCCI. Dhoni had already given a thumbs-up to the young India in the team by stepping down as skipper of Test team and thereby allowed the immensely talented Virat Kohli to take the helm.
MS Dhoni captained the Indian team in limited-overs formats from 2007 to 2016 and in Test cricket from 2008 to 2014. An attacking right-handed middle-order batsman and wicket-keeper, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers in limited-overs cricket.He made his One Day International (ODI) debut in December 2004 against Bangladesh, and played his first Test a year later against Sri Lanka.
Dhoni holds numerous captaincy records such as most wins by an Indian captain in Tests and ODIs, and most back-to-back wins by an Indian captain in ODIs. He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 and led the team to its first-ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the CB Series of 2007–08, the 2010 Asia Cup, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. In the final of the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni scored 91 not out off 79 balls handing India the victory for which he was awarded the Man of the Match. In June 2013, when India defeated England in the final of the Champions Trophy in England, Dhoni became the first captain to win all three ICC limited-overs trophies (World Cup, Champions Trophy and the World Twenty20). After taking up the Test captaincy in 2008, he led the team to series wins in New Zealand and West Indies, and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2013. In 2009, Dhoni also led the Indian team to number one position for the first time in the ICC Test rankings. In 2013, under his captaincy, India became the first team in more than 40 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. In the Indian Premier League, he captained the Chennai Super Kings to victory at the 2010 and 2011 seasons, along with wins in the 2010 and 2014 editions of Champions League Twenty20. He announced his retirement from Tests on 30 December 2014.
Dhoni has been the recipient of many awards, including the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009 (the first player to win the award twice), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007 and the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour, in 2009. He was named as the captain of ICC World Test XI and ICC World ODI XI teams for 2009. The Indian Territorial Army conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel to Dhoni on 1 November 2011. He is the second Indian cricketer after Kapil Dev to have received this honour. In 2011, Time magazine included Dhoni in its annual Time 100 list as one of the “Most Influential People in the World.” In 2012, SportsPro rated Dhoni as the sixteenth most marketable athlete in the world. In June 2015, Forbes ranked Dhoni at 23rd in the list of highest paid athletes in the world, estimating his earnings at US$31 million. In 2016, a biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story was made on him.
When Dhoni was surprisingly elevated to the top job in 2007, not many would have predicted the impact that the Jharkhand right-hander would have on Indian cricket as he did. He excelled on the big stage consistently, and ended up winning two World titles, the ICC Champions Trophy and also guided the Test team to the No 1 ranking along the way. While Dhoni will continue playing for India in the limited overs format as a wicket-keeper-batsman, there is no doubt his contributions as captain will never be forgotten.