Monday, Dec 05, 2022

Graceful exit

Captain Cool quits as skipper of ODI team, with minimum fuss and at the right time

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, dhoni, MS dhoni, cricket, indian cricket, indian cricket team,captaincy career, Dhoni's captaincy career, ODI, Indian skipper, former captain dhoni, captain, captain cool, sports cricket, india news, indian express news The most appreciable corollary to Dhoni’s departure is that he didn’t hang on to his position.

With the most candid of farewell notes, Mahendra Singh Dhoni bid adieu to his captaincy career. Those three words to the chief selector — OK, that’s it — aptly sum up the sanguine equanimity that Dhoni has maintained through his career, through the lofty peaks he has scaled as well as the inescapable troughs he has traipsed in the nine-year-long tenure as the skipper of a maniacal cricketing nation’s team. Such minimalistic flourishes mark out Dhoni the skipper from several of his predecessors. For Sachin Tendulkar, the rigours of captaincy told on his face; Sourav Ganguly lived it large, every triumph a scoff on the face of the selectors; Rahul Dravid sequestered to a self-woven shell of understatement. But Dhoni lived life on his own terms; he has now left on his own terms too.

The most appreciable corollary to Dhoni’s departure is that he didn’t hang on to his position. The timing was near-perfect; just about when the whispers of Kohli’s readiness to take over the reins from him were getting louder. Dhoni, wiser with age and from experience, knows how ill-advised it is to stretch his tenure. He has never been too
image-conscious or self-obsessed over how the public or media will perceive him. But he will be aware of the vehement criticism he had to cope with in the final phase of his Test career in the wake of gutting series defeats outside India.

His lasting legacy as skipper, beyond the body of statistics and trophies, is in the way he went about his chores without any fuss or hubris. The “Captain Cool” image embellishes a remarkable narrative, worthy of a blockbuster biopic. It would be interesting now to see how he would phase out the rest of his international career. A pragmatic speculation is he would end it when he deems himself surplus to the demands of a young side.

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First published on: 06-01-2017 at 12:28:02 am
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