The 5th day of the Boxing day test against Australia, saw India fight it out in the final session to salvage a draw. After the match, a press release conveyed the news that Indian skipper MS Dhoni had decided to retire from test cricket.
According to a statement released by BCCI, MS Dhoni called it a day in tests due to the strain of playing in all formats. And just like that India’s test captain decided he had enough of test cricket and would rather focus on limited overs cricket.
The Indian test team did need a new thinking hat and as he had been stating for long, Dhoni, decided not to hang around or go through an elaborate farewell. MS thank you for the ride and for the dignity with which you captained. India could have done with a bit more aggression in the decision making but only time will tell whether that would have helped given the state of our bowling.
A journey through MS Dhoni’s test career:
MS Dhoni made his test debut against Sri Lanka in December 2005 at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai. In his fifth test, Dhoni announced his arrival when he scored a mind blowing 148 against the thunderbolts of Shoaib Akhtar at Faislabad. Dhoni also enthralled fans all over with his unique power packed shots.
Dhoni was assigned the responsibility to lead the test side in 2008 and under his captaincy, India ruled the ICC test rankings for 18 months between 2009 and 2011. Besides being a reliable wicketkeeper and a dynamic batsman, MS Dhoni was also an able captain. Till the recent England test series at home, Dhoni was almost invincible at home with India winning 21 tests under him and lost only 3.
Sadly, things were not the same when the team went abroad. Dhoni ended up with the worst overseas record by an Indian captain, losing 15 tests away from home. Back to back series white washes against England and Australia in 2011-12 would remain a sad statistic attached to the Dhoni era. The 2013-2014 season was also disappointing as India lost Test Series despite showing promise when they travelled to South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia.
This spate of poor results should have been cause for action or at least deeper reflection by the BCCI. Instead it was MS Dhoni who had to call time on his Test career, in his own unique way. As Dhoni himself has stated , although in a different context , “(When) You die, you die. You don’t see which is the better way to die.”
MS Dhoni -Test records:
– Most test wins by an Indian captain (27)
– Most runs as Indian test captain (3454)
– Only test captain to have hit more than 50 sixes (51)
– Only Indian wicketkeeper to get 4000 runs and effect 250 dismissals or more. (256 catches and 38 stumpings)
– Most dismissals by an Indian wicketkeeper in an innings (6)
-Only player to have aggregated 3000 runs as captain-cum-wicketkeeper apart from recording five centuries.