Picture above – MS Dhoni (left) hits the six against Sri Lanka that won the 2011 World Cup final for India, one of 359 sixes that the wicketkeeper-batsman struck across all international formats.
So Mahendra Singh (MS) Dhoni has retired from international cricket.
Two of the “greats” sum up his legacy:
England’s former captain Nasser Hussain: “Probably the best white‑ball captain there has ever been. A great finisher. It wasn’t over until you got Dhoni out. A phenomenally calm, cool customer.”
India’s master Sachin Tendulkar: “Winning the 2011 World Cup together has been the best moment of my life.”
You have to be in India and see people playing cricket wherever they can – in streets, sometimes in dusty parks, on any vacant spot they can find. Once you see this, you know the high level of passion India has for the game.
Dhoni will still play this IPL season, no doubt hitting more sixes for his Chennai Super Kings.
What an amazing record – 60 Tests, 27 wins, 18 defeats and 15 draws; a mountainous 200 in one-day internationals, with 110 wins, 74 losses, five ties and 11 no-results for a winning return of 58% in completed games; and, in Twenty20 matches he captained India to 41 wins out of 72. And he hit 359 sixes in his career!
But above all, with Dhoni at the helm, India played with a calm certainty that they had never managed before – it was his leadership that is the great legacy.
So, who would you pick for wicketkeeper-batsman – MS Dhoni or Adam Gilchrist? We have been fortunate to see them both.
This will not be the last contribution MS Dhoni makes to Indian cricket – I think other key roles are ahead for this global sports leader.