Lucknow: MS Dhoni is undoubtedly the most successful captain Indian Cricket has ever produced, but over the past few months there have been some voices asking him to retire at least from T20I Cricket if not the 50-over format, and pave way for the young talents in the Indian playing XI.
The former Indian skipper seems to be in the similar hot waters in which Sourav Ganguly was during the fag end of his flourishing career.
Do you remember the 2007 Twenty20 International World Cup victory in which MSD led a young and inexperienced bunch of boys to the historic glory? The victory was not only a milestone, but was the beginning of a fresh tradition in Indian Cricket of relying more on young talents than the experienced ones.
The biggest victim of the new tradition apparently was Sourav Ganguly, who is looked upon as the torchbearer of the dominance team India has in the world Cricket right now.
But unfortunately, he had a bitter end to his career due to a major fallout with the then team India coach Greg Chappell, but keeping his fighting spirit alive, he made a comeback to the national side and played some brilliant innings. Some Cricket experts believed that he had a year or two of Cricket left in him, but apparently he did not get support from Dhoni, who was an open supporter of young talents, and team management.
He last appeared in a One Day International (ODI) back in November 2007 under the captainship of Dhoni. Ganguly finally announced retirement from ODIs in 2007 while continued to play Tests till 2008.
Many would argue that by that time Ganguly had lost that lustre that won him the tag of ‘God of Off-Side’, and same is the case with MSD these days, who is facing all around criticism for not being able to click at the crucial junctures when team India need some power hitting.
There have been talks that Dhoni should now think about retiring to give a chance to the young wicket-keeper-batsmen in T20I Cricket. But the current skipper Virat Kohli has openly jumped in his support saying that the team needs an experienced player and thinker like MSD. Perhaps, Ganguly also needed a similar support when he was at the end of his career but did not get it.
Did you ever wonder what Dhoni of 2007 would have done to the Dhoni of 2017? He might have stopped electing him in the playing XI citing the age factor.
Dhoni, however, is a legend and deserves all the accolades and appreciations for his enormous contribution to the world Cricket. He has led India to 2007 ICC T20I World Cup victory, 2011 ICC World Cup win, 2013 Champions Trophy win and No. 1 ranking in the Test Cricket.
He captained in 60 Tests, in which India won 27, lost 18 while 15 resulted in a draw. During 2007 to 2016, Dhoni captained in 199 ODIs, out of which India won 110, lost 74, four were tied while 11 resulted in draws. He also captained in 72 T20Is, in which India won 41, lost 28, one was a tie and 2 had drawn.
Dhoni’s stats in Tests:
Matches – 90
Runs – 4,876
Average – 38.09
Highest Score – 224
Stats in ODIs:
Matches – 309
Runs – 9,826
Average – 51.71
Highest Score – 183*
Stats in T20Is:
Matches – 83
Runs – 1,281
Average – 35.58
Highest Score – 56
Sourav Ganguly is also widely regarded for giving some great match winners to MS Dhoni-led team India. The names like Yuvraj Singh, who was the player of the tournament in 2007 T20I World Cup and 2011 ICC World Cup, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh who helped India win several matches under the leadership of MSD, were prepared to be great by none other than Sourav Ganguly.
Well, it would be interesting to see how MS Dhoni performs in the upcoming three T20Is against Sri Lanka and then in the Indian Premier League, as his performance there would be decisive for his future in the shortest format of the game.