MS Dhoni retires: Cricket lovers in India were shocked when Team India’s limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today suddenly declared that he is stepping down as the captain in the limited-overs format as well. But he will continue to be available for selection in ODI’s and T20s as a wicket-keeper batsman. Dhoni made it clear that he will be available for the upcoming ODI and T20 series against England at home, tweeted BCCI.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 4, 2017
It has been almost a decade that cricket lovers in India were used to see Team India march step-to-step, achieving victories one after the other under Dhoni. Let’s take a look at the five best moments Team India achieved under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, arguably the best match-finisher in limited-overs format.
1) A jaded Team India had just lost a fighting ODI series in England losing 3-4, under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. Thereafter, the inaugural edition of the ICC World T20 was about to start in South Africa. The selectors took a bold decision by omitting all the big names from the team that flew to South Africa. A young and confident Mahendra Singh Dhoni was made the captain of the T20 side, after seeking amicable advice from Sachin Tendulkar. Yuvraj Singh was made the vice-captain. Team India went on to win the T20 World Cup defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in a nail-biting final by 5 runs. A new star in MS Dhoni rose to fame, leading a young side that matched flair with brilliance and made win a habit.
2) The biggest moment in Indian cricket history first came when the Kapil devils shocked the invincible West Indians led by Clive Lloyd at the Mecca of cricket – The Lord’s in 1983. History almost repeated itself in 2003, when Team India lost the World Cup in the final, losing to an Australian side that was on a rampage. But 28 years after the 1983 triumph, billion smiles were back in the faces of Indians as India became the first-ever team to win a World Cup at home soil, in the year 2011; at the Mecca of Indian cricket – The Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, when neighbours Sri Lanka witnessed a great Indian run-chase, orchestrated by opening batsman Gautam Gambhir and captain MS Dhoni, who promoted himself to no.5 ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh.
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Gambhir forged two key partnerships with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, which took India out from danger, when both the openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were dismissed cheaply, the total score reading 31/2. There was stun silence at the Wankhede, as Lasith Malinga made merry of the pitch conditions. However, it was the left-right hand combination of Gambhir and Dhoni that punctured the Sri Lankan hopes of lifting a second World Cup. MS Dhoni was declared player of the final. Former Captain Sunil Gavaskar said, Dhoni hitting the huge six over long-on will go down as the best cricketing memory when he dies.
3) In the year 2013, when Team India won the ICC Champions Trophy, MS Dhoni became the only captain to have won all the ICC events – the T20 World Cup, the 50 overs World Cup and the Champions Trophy which is popularly known as mini-World Cup where the top-8 ranked teams participate. India defeated home-side England in a rain-affected final played at Edgbaston, Birmingham, by 5 runs, which was a 20-overs per side affair. Ravindra Jadeja was the player of the final. Dhoni’s intuitiveness and gut feeling was lauded by cricket pundits.
— Kris Srikkanth (@KrisSrikkanth) January 4, 2017
4) India defeated Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final in 2010, to lift their 5th Asia Cup title. Under MS Dhoni, India defeated Sri Lanka by 81 runs in the final, avenging their defeat in the league round. Previously, India won back-to-back ODI series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka by 3-2 and 4-1 margins, under Dhoni, which is itself an incredible stuff. India also won the 2016 edition of Asia Cup in Bangladesh, defeating the rejuvenated Bangladeshis in the final.
5) In the year 2008, Team India under a new ODI captain MS Dhoni won their first-ever ODI tri-series in Australian soil. India defeated the mighty Australians in the best-of-three finals where India won 2-0. Sachin Tendulkar shone in both the finals as he scored 117* (SCG) in the 1st and 91 (Gabba) in the 2nd final. Sri Lanka participated as the third team.