After 15 years at the top, dominating international cricket like no one else, MS Dhoni, the former India captain, announced his retirement. Under his leadership from 2007-2017, India won several accolades, making countless memories for its fans.
Here are five of the main reasons why he was India’s most loved captain:
#5 Led from the front
One knock that instantly comes to mind when remembering Dhoni, the captain, is his epic 91* that finished with a World Cup-winning six, when he promoted himself in the most important game of his life. Even in Test cricket, he was a vital force, including a record 224 against Australia in 2013.
#4 Stump mic conversations
MS Dhoni was at the centre of several gems from behind the stumps – from ‘Oye Sree, udhar Girlfriend nahi hai’ to ‘Pujara ko taali bajaane ke liye nahi rakha’, he was a lively figure with his wicketkeeping gloves on. And these are only the ones that were somehow recorded on camera – imagine how animated he would have been to his teammates through years and years.
#3 MS Dhoni – The Captain Cool
There isn’t anyone who comes close to Dhoni when we consider crunch situations in a game. The image of MS Dhoni running out Mustafizur Rahim in the 2016 T20 World Cup instantly comes to head, where he had enough presence of mind to run across and beat the batsman instead of throwing. Along with that, the several games that he finished are a testimony, always correctly calculating the run-rate and somehow being right most of the time.
#2 Clever captaincy changes
MS Dhoni was all about unorthodoxy, using his gut instinct to drive his captaincy changes which, most of the time, defied convention. From opting to bowl with Joginder Sharma in the 2007 T20 World Cup final, to making middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma and opener, to bowling Ishant Sharma for a crucial spell in the 2013 Champions Trophy, he’s done it all through his shrewd thinking.
#1 A record like no other
Gautam Gambhir recently said that no one can ever break Dhoni’s record as captain in ICC tournaments – three major titles, the only captain to do so. From leading a young team in his first tournament in 2007, to bringing World Cup glory home in 2011, and sealing his legendary status with the 2013 Champions Trophy win, Dhoni remains India’s most illustrious leader, with records to back.