Trust us when we say this, MS Dhoni is probably one of the greatest Indian captains ever. His cool head, his swashbuckling batting and his intuitive captaincy is stuff that will leave his footprints in the history of the game. But, even he is a mere mortal, who has to give in to Father Time.
Recently, he faced a lot of flak for his snail-like batting against New Zealand in a T20 match where India needed to score at a seriously quick nip. During his hey days, he used to create fear in the minds of the bowlers. Now, it looks like he fears to attack them himself.
He realized that his time was numbered, and he was only bogging the team down with his presence in Tests, and retired from the format. He knew that he could not handle the pressure of Indian captaincy, and still contribute as a cricketer and he gave up that too. We are not saying that he is a liability to the team, his average of 51 in ODIs is extremely impressive considering he bats lower down the order. His smoothness as a great finisher though has declined, and it was apparent in the way he played the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan, and the IPL final for Rising Pune Supergiants against Mumbai India.
It’s not like there aren’t replacements. Rishabh Pant, who is just 19 years old, has impressed one and all with his prowess. If he is given enough time to settle and cement his place in the side before the 2019 World Cup, it will be good for the team. Yes, as emotional fans, we do want to see MS Dhoni end his career on a high – a second World Cup (in ODIs) win, probably will be fitting. But then, sentimentality shouldn’t come in the way of getting the results that you want. As long as India keep winning, Dhoni’s experience does come into play. But, a few losses and the Ranchi-born cricketer might face the brunt.
For now, captain Kohli has words of praise for the 36-year-old. “First, I don’t understand why are people only pointing him out, I’m not able to understand this. If I fail three times, no one is going to point fingers at me because I’m not over 35. The guy is fit, he is passing all the fitness tests, he is contributing to the team in every way possible, tactically on the field, with the bat,” Kohli told reporters.
We don’t disagreee with him, but there is no question that Dhoni is past his prime. And should probably just retire.
Whatever happens, he played a match winning knock in the finals of a World Cup. That cannot change.
So his legacy will remain, and he’ll remain one of the best India has ever produced. Even if he scores 10 ducks in a row from hereon.
Image source: Twitter