“There is still a player left in me and as far as giving up captaincy is concerned, I know that a new captain must have atleast 2 years to prepare a team for the 2019 World Cup.”
Yes, this is what he said in one of the press conferences. He emphasized “2 years”. And exactly 2 years before the next World Cup, Mahi (as the Indian cricket team captain is fondly called) breaks a billion of hearts.
For majority of his time as the captain, the lack of narcissism came as a pleasant surprise. World Cups won- he raised hopes with T-20 and quenched the desires with 50-over. Champions trophy won, World No. 1 ranking achieved but he didn’t strut and preen. World Cup won, he let Tendulkar and Kohli take the center stage. T-20 world cup won, after a shriek and a fist-pump, he let his younger team mates revel in the spotlight.
With him, it was clear that someone was in control out there. His fielders felt it, his bowlers felt it, the opposition batsmen felt it, and the fans felt it too. The bowlers didn’t throw up their arms and looks either downcast or angry when misfields happened. Suddenly, everyone in the team would appear less nervy and more detached. With all the emotional energy saved up and not frittered, it was no surprise that the team started to benefit and prosper under Indian Cricket’s greatest Pied Piper.
He could have completed 200 ODI’s as a captain and could have become the only 3rd captain to do so. But he didn’t. Other captains would wait for this but MSD didn’t. He has left captaincy like the way he came in- Silently. Unlike many he has a great sense of timing about when to walk away.
Giving up Captaincy for the team’s future is a small sacrifice for a man who has come late in the batting order for his entire career. It is a small sacrifice for a man who didn’t come to India to see his daughter because he was on NATIONAL DUTY. It is a small sacrifice for a man who always want the youngsters in the limelight.
To the most SELFLESS Captain.
To the captain who blamed himself for the loss and credited the team for success.
To the captain who treated the imposters of Success and Failure just the same.
As Mahi passes on the baton of captaincy, we will fondly remember the times when India repeatedly reigned as the best in the world across all formats.
And for Kohli, lets hear this in 2019-
“And Kohli finishes off in style, a magnificent strike into the crowd! India lifts the World Cup after 8 years and the party starts in the dressing room.”
Take a lap of the Mecca of Cricket, Lords, with Dhoni on your shoulders. PLEASE. He deserves this.
Take a bow Captain.
I’ll miss you, Captain Cool.
INDIA WILL MISS YOU DHONI!
Edited by Mrinaal Datt
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