Dhoni retires from International cricket. The news came suddenly but it was kinda expected. He was not being selected for some time by BCCI and even in the games that he played, he was a mere shadow of what he used to be. He will continue to play in IPL for CSK.
Dhoni has pretty much won all the trophies – from T20 world cup to ODI World Cup to test rank 1. He was the perfect epitome for a STOIC. Dhoni took both the wins and losses in his stride.
Dhoni generated a belief in the Indian cricket team that was never there before. The belief that you can stay calm, assess the situation, be analytical, and win the game even when the odds are against you. We can attribute this winning mentality more to Dhoni than to Kohli. As long as Dhoni is there on the pitch you always believed that he can win you the game. He would induce mistakes in his opponent and ensure that he doesn’t commit the same.
Dhoni was never elegant, be it in batting or in wicket keeping – but he got things done and thats what matters. His intuition and assessment of the game situation was second to none.
Another thing I noticed/realized is that Dhoni’s career closely correlates with the Indian economy. Of course correlation is not causation and no way I am saying that but it is an interesting observation nonetheless. Dhoni exploded on the International Cricket scene around 2005-06 when the Indian economy was poised to be the next super power ( Lolzz). Peak for Indian economy and for Dhoni was probably the six at Wankhede on 2nd April 2011 and won the WC for India – a cathartic moment for an entire generation of Indians born after 1983. Since then it has been a slow decline – both for the Indian economy and Dhoni. The decline worsened around 2017 with demonetization and bad GST, and Dhoni also pretty much lost his mojo. With the pandemic the Indian economy is pretty much dead and so is Dhoni’s International Career.
A lot of articles have been written on Dhoni since his retirement but I haven’t had a chance to go through them all, primarily because my interest in cricket has waned a bit, at least for the time being and all the focus is on F1. Still I found para written by greatbong interesting and very relatable(https://greatbong.net/2020/08/16/what-dhoni-means-to-me/), so I will just note it down here :-
The state of being Dhoni.
But it was not just what he was on-field that appealed to the adult in me, but what he was off it. His career was always something that was a tool to achieve what he wanted in life. But it never became his life. Be it taking time off for going to the military or partying with movie stars when he was young and playing with daughter when older, Dhoni was someone who captured that balance many of us adults find tough to maintain, where we blur the lines between work and happiness, and try, without success, to let success at work fill the hole in our heart, except that it never happens. The promotions may come, just never the fulfilment.
The state of being Dhoni will be missed. In many way I still see it in Hamilton but that is another topic deserving another post.
For now, adios MSD.