MS Dhoni led the Indian team to an unexpected run in the ICC World Cup, but after the team’s disappointing exit to Australia in the semi-final, the team’s captain is talking about his retirement.
Dhoni had already stepped aside as India’s Test captain in December, and many believe that he will soon relinquish his role as captain of One-Day International matches as well.
That speculation grew even louder after Dhoni and the Indian team faltered in the late innings, ending what would have been a record chase of 325 runs. Dhoni was run out by Glenn Maxwell, who made a direct throw from mid-wicket.
Many questioned MS Dhoni’s strategy, including former English captain Michael Vaughan.
“I thought the chase was strange at the end. MS Dhoni is a wonderful cricketer but I don’t get his innings today,” Vaughan said. “He never sent a message to me or to anyone in the ground that he was properly having a go for the runs. It was like he was having a little net. He hit two sixes off Shane Watson but that should have been tried earlier. Then he was run out. It was a brilliant throw from mid-wicket from Maxwell but he didn’t even dive to get in.”
Many in India were apparently upset as well. Security was beefed up outside of his residence, with police worried that unruly fans may try to take out their frustrations.
“I had come down with my friends to celebrate an Indian win in front of Dhoni’s house but disappointingly that did not happen,” said one fan outside of Dhoni’s home.
After the defeat, MS Dhoni said he plans to stay on as ODI captain at least through next year’s World Twenty20 tournament.
“I’m 33, I’m still running, still fit. Next year, T20 World Cup, will be time to decide about 2019,” said Dhoni.
Many give MS Dhoni credit for India’s spectacular run in the ICC World Cup. Coming in after a disastrous tour of Australia, few expected the Indian team would be a title contender, but Dhoni led them to seven straight wins before the loss in the semifinal.
“Overall, I’m quite happy,” added Dhoni, whose side had won 11 successive World Cup games ahead of Monday’s semi-final, including seven matches in Australia and New Zealand.
“Where we were at the start of the tournament, a lot of people didn’t think we’d get this far.
“At the same time, when you come to the knockout stages you have to lift your game.
“There were too many (runs) to chase. If you lose quite a few wickets and you’re supposed to chase over six runs an over… our lower order, I don’t think they can contribute as much in these conditions.
“Overall, it’s good exposure for them. Maybe next time, in other conditions, they’ll know how to bat and do better.”
The next chance to win on an international stage will come next year, when MS Dhoni again captains the India cricket team in the Twenty20 tournament.
[Image via Getty Images Gareth Copley]