The timing of Dhoni’s decision to retire from Tests may not accord him much grace, but is pragmatic.
MS Dhoni, arguably one of India’s top cricket captains, announced his retirement from Test cricket yesterday. Some had seen it coming, especially retired Indian cricketers, from their vantage points in the commentators’ box. On the other hand, fans took to the comments sections of online news publications with outpourings of shock and lamentation, even though Dhoni will continue playing the other two formats of international cricket, one-dayers and T-20. Then, there were those who could only voice relief and welcome the news.
It is easy to stand with Dhoni’s detractors, given his poor show in the ongoing Test series against Australia. It is also true that Dhoni was just one defeat away from equalling the ignominious record for most defeats as captain. At the same time, India reached the coveted no.1 spot in the ICC Test rankings under his captaincy—and maintained the rank for a respectable 21 months.
Polarising as it is, the narrative of the Dhoni story in the Test format will likely change to one of how the captain hung up his cricketing shoes mid-series, against Australia, definitely India’s bitterest rival. But, in the end, Dhoni did choose a pragmatic exit over lingering on in the hopes of bowing out with grace.
Check out the conversation on Twitter about M S Dhoni’s retirement: