The annual Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) contract list for the 2019-20 season was announced on Thursday. While Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah were revealed as the top earners, the exclusion of MS Dhoni from the BCCI contract list raised a few eyebrows. MS Dhoni’s retirement rumours are doing the rounds since India’s semi-final loss to New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and an announcement could be on the way considering that Dhoni was dropped from the BCCI contract list.
Earlier in an interview, MS Dhoni had told a reporter that all questions on his future should wait till January 2020 and maybe the former India captain was hinting at the BCCI contract snub. Dhoni is expected to feature in the IPL 2020 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and it could be his final swansong before hanging up his boots once and for all. Here, let’s take a look at MS Dhoni’s top moments in the Indian jersey.
After a mediocre start to his ODI career, MS Dhoni was promoted to No.3 by India captain Sourav Ganguly and the young wicketkeeper repaid his captain’s faith. Dhoni arrived in style scoring 148 off just 123 balls, showcasing his strength and ability to score quickly, which would turn out be the trademarks of his game in the decade to come. Dhoni’s century helped India post a mammoth 356 in their 50 overs, which eventually proved to be too much for their rivals Pakistan, who fell short by 58 runs.
It took only three years for MS Dhoni to take over the reins of the India side after his debut. After leading India to the maiden T20 World Cup title, Dhoni led India to a win in the tri-series between India, Australia and Sri Lanka, which was their first-ever ODI tri-series triumph in Australia. Dhoni’s astute leadership skills helped India overcome Australia in their backyard in the best-of-3 finals.
MS Dhoni had made a reputation for himself as a leader and India were favourites to win the 2011 World Cup at home. India, after some inspired performances from Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and others, reached the final to clash against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium. Dhoni had a horrid tournament in the build-up to the final, but the Indian captain brushed poor form and criticism all aside and scored a splendid 91* off just 79 balls, hitting an iconic six to help India lift their second-ever World Cup title.
MS Dhoni’s world had come crashing down after India’s World Cup win in 2011. Back-to-back 0-4 whitewashes in England and Australia followed by a humiliating 1-2 loss at home to England, meant Dhoni’s captaincy, as well as his batting, was under immense scrutiny when Australia came to Chennai for the first of the 4-test series in March 2013. However, Dhoni made his mark, scored a magnificent 224, his highest Test score, effectively batting Australia out of the contest. India afflicted perfect revenge, avenging their 0-4 loss in Australia by beating them 4-0 at home.
The 2013 Champions Trophy was an exhibition of MS Dhoni’s renowned captaincy skills. Dhoni’s decision to use Rohit Sharma opener was vital, as the Mumbai batsman formed a formidable opening combination with Shikhar Dhawan, a partnership, India still feeds on 7 years later. Dhoni’s decision to use Ishant Sharma in the death overs despite the Delhi pacer being expensive before paid dividends with the pacer bagging 2 important wickets in a single over to help India win the final against hosts England. Dhoni became the first captain to lift all three ICC titles and to date, remains the only captain to do so in the history of the game.