MS Dhoni steps down as ODI and T20 cpatain with immediate effect

A press release from BCCI CEO Rahul Johri said: “Mahendra Singh Dhoni has informed the BCCI that he wishes to step down as the captain of the Indian cricket team for One-Day International and T20 International formats of the game. He will be available for selection as player for the ODI and T20 series against England and the same has been conveyed to the Senior Selection Committee.”

Dhoni, who led India in a record 199 ODIs, won 110 and lost 74 matches. He led India in an ODI for the first time against Australia at Bengaluru on September 29, 2007, and his last one-dayer as captain was against New Zealand at Visakhapatnam on October 29, 2016. He skippered India in 17 World Cup matches across the 2011 and 2015 editions. Dhoni, who played in 73 Twenty20Is, led the country in 72 of them, winning 42 and losing 28. The dashing wicketkeeper batsman led India to a memorable triumph at the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 and thereafter at the ICC Cricket World Cup in India in 2011.

Dhoni, the captain, was something India had never seen before. There are numerous tales of the charismatic MAK Pataudi and the daredevil Kapil Dev, but all of them came before India became the force it is now. By the 90s, captaincy of the cricket team was termed the most difficult job in India, even ahead of being Prime Minister. There was Mohammad Azharuddin, collar up, but leading a side of mediocre players. Then came Sourav Ganguly, who taught India how to dream, but still came short of winning the ultimate prize the 50 over World Cup. Rahul Dravid came next with huge dreams, but saw them crushed in the Caribbean. All of them were expected to be captains somewhere in their career, and for all of them, the responsibility of leading the side caused their batting to slide.
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This is where Dhoni was different. A wicketkeeper batsman, many believed captaincy would only add to the burden. But Dhoni never believed in history and under him, the past hardly mattered. He lived in the present and despite conjuring many wins, never looked at the long term. It was all short term goals, but each one achieved to perfection.

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