Dhoni steps down as ODI, T20 captain
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to step down as India’s ODI and T20 captain came in the same dramatic fashion associated with the dashing skipper. The announcement came through the BCCI’s twitter handle. There was the same element of surprise to it as there had been in Dhoni’s decision to quit Test cricket altogether, which he took suddenly on the eve of a Test match in Australia in the 2014-15 season.
The skipper was never the one to come up before the media and make a formal announcement of his plans. He has always routed his retirement decisions thr ough the cricket board, a somewhat conservative man ner to do so, as opposed to his flamboyant style as lea der, batsman and keeper.
This is not to knock his enormous contribution to Indian cricket not only in all the famous victories he notched up like in the inaugural T20 worlds, the World Cup of 2011 and the Test wins, which propelled India to the number 1 ranking for the first time back in 2009.
But it does appear he tarried a bit after carrying his team to sensational performances in the theatre of limited-overs cricket.
Dhoni set Indian cricket alight with the T20 win in 2007 in South Africa, which led to the revolutionising of the game with the birth of the cash-rich IPL.
He inspired India to the 2011 World Cup win, which the nation dedicated to the old battler of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar.
He seemed to lose the sting after that as continuous losses in T20 worlds and in the World Cup of 2015 saw his captaincy stock plummet to its lowest level.
Dhoni’s decision to carry on as a limited-overs player is logical and quite welcome too from the perspective of his willingness to play under Virat Kohli, who is the universal choice to take over in all formats now.
There is no saying how long the 35-year-old will continue in the game, but it appears certain he will play in the Champions Trophy in England this summer, a competition he won even at a time when team India was going through a lean patch.