Dhoni steps down as India’s limited-overs captain

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Jan 2017 08:27:31


By Rahul Dixit,

NAGPUR,

Jan 4,

India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli is likely to take over captaincy of the limited-overs teams following Dhoni’s decision.

FOR four days of his stay with the Jharkhand Ranji team in Nagpur, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was his usual self. He was mentoring his state team and also honing skills in the VCA, Civil Lines Stadium nets. But as he always does, keeping calm before letting off a storm, Dhoni sprang a huge surprise on Wednesday evening by
stepping down as India’s limited overs captain.
Since the day he landed in Nagpur in a chartered plane with close friend and confidant Arun Pandey, Dhoni has kept a safe distance from the media. He did throw hints to a few close people talking about “a bomb to explode”. It was perceived as the “bomb” the Supreme Court was to explode on January 2. The gravity of that hint dawned on Wednesday evening with the sudden announcement. The most successful Indian captain has brought an abrupt end to his glorious leadership tenure in one go.
Under the 35-year-old Dhoni India won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, the ICC ODI World Cup in 2011, ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 and also reached the top of the Test rankings in 2009.


This decision has stunned the cricket fraternity by relinquishing the captaincy barely 11 days before the ODI series against England.
Dhoni’s decision has now paved way for Test captain Virat Kohli to take over the mantle of the limited overs team as well.


While expressing his desire to quit captaincy, Dhoni conveyed to the selection committee that he will be available for selection as a player for the three ODIs and as many T20s against England starting January 15.
In his unfinished limited overs career, Dhoni has so far scored 9110 runs in 283 ODIs at an average of 50.89 with 183 not out being his highest score.
Besides, the wicketkeeper-batsman has so far made 1112 runs from 73 T20 Internationals.


Interestingly, Dhoni’s decision came a day after Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke were removed as president and secretary of the BCCI by the Supreme Court for failing to implement the Lodha Committee recommendations.
While Dhoni had also quit Tests in 2014 all of a sudden during the Australia tour in 2014 in Melbourne, this time the sudden decision and its timing has set the tongues wagging. Some in the Board have linked it to Mohinder Amarnath’s name that was suggested to the Supreme Court by Justice RM Lodha panel on December 15. It was during Amarnath’s maiden tenure as selector in 2012 that he wanted to replace Dhoni as ODI captain for the triangular series Down Under.


Commenting on Dhoni’s sudden announcement, Rahul Johri, Chief Executive Officer of the BCCI said, “On the behalf of every Indian cricket fan and the BCCI, I would like to thank MS Dhoni for his outstanding contribution as the captain of the Indian team across all formats.
“Under his leadership, the Indian team has touched new heights and his achievements will remain etched forever in the annals of Indian cricket.”


While he continues to be available as a player, the Champions Trophy in England could be an indicator whether he would continue as a player till 2019 World Cup.


India’s double World Cup winning skipper will be playing a competitive match after 77 days against England which could be an indicator as to how long he will continue with his illustrious career.