An era has come to an end, today, with stepping down of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as T20 and ODI captain of Indian cricket. He took over as the captain of Indian team in difficult times in 2007, when the morale of the team was down after going out cheaply from the World Cup, held in the West Indies, in the first round itself.
It was after then that the Captain Cool, as he was famously called, went on to win the first ever T20 World Cup beating arch rival Pakistan in the final, in 2007. After this the Indian cricket and he never looked back. Four years later, the team under him went on to win the the ODI World Cup, beating Sri lanka in the final. Who can forget his six in the final to help India win the trophy after after a gap of 28 years since the Kapil Dev-led team won it in 1983 team.
MS Dhoni, who played his first ODI against Bangladesh on December 2004, was not only one of the finest wicket-keeper that the country has produced, but one of the best finisher with the bat as well. He was the first ever captain to win all three-ICC-limited-overs trophies., whether it was T20 World cup ODI World cup or Champions Trophy. And not to forget the 2007–08 Commonwealth Bank Series involving India, Australia and Sri Lanka. In the best of three-final India won 2-0 to win the tournament.
Under Dhoni, India has played in 199 ODIs, winning 110 of them, losing 74, with four matches tied. In T20Is, under MS Dhoni, Men in Blue played 72 T20s, won 41 of them and lost in 28 matches. One match was tied.
He was one of those captains who never looked tensed, and was always kept smiling. Much like Sourav Ganguly, he also stood by his youngsters and showed his confidence in them to perform better for the country.
He was part of a team that went to Pakistan in 2006. During that tour then president Parvez Musharraf had heaped praise on his hairstyle after a match, saying that while a lot of placards in the crowd has suggested him to cut his hair, but as per him Dhoni looked good in that hairstyle.
MS Dhoni was the first ever cricketer to win the ICC Cricketer of the year twice in succession, which he won in 2008 as well as in 2009. He was also honored with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007 and Padma shri in 2009.
Even as the he will not be missing from action as of now and will continue to wear India colors, his captaincy skills will surely be missed. With now, no more under the burden of captaincy, one hopes that MS Dhoni continues to mesmerize his fans across the globe with bat and gloves.
MS Dhoni had earlier retired from Test cricket in December, after playing his last match against Australia.