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Millennium Post

Sudden exit stumps cricket world

Sporting world’s biggest announcement in 2014 came on the penultimate day of the year with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni announcing retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect soon after leading India to yet another away series defeat, his sixth over-all as captain, at the MCG on Tuesday.

The iconic cricketer cited strain of playing all formats of cricket as the reason behind his sudden decision. In his last Test innings, Dhoni hit patient unbeaten 24 to force a draw in the third Test, helping Australia regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

In a career spanning 90 Tests, MS Dhoni led in 60 games, winning 27 to become India’s most successful captain. He scored 4876 runs at an average of 38.09 with six centuries, 33 fifties, 256 catches and 38 stumpings. Notwithstanding the baffling abruptness of Dhoni’s decision, there is no denying him credit for the job he did for so long, even taking India to the top of ICC Test rankings for a considerable period.

Of the 60 Tests in which he led as wicketkeeper-captain, Dhoni lost half of them on foreign soil and many of these in his later years at the helm. His aggregate of 3,454 (ave.40.63), including five tons and 24 50s, in Tests is an Indian record by a captain, bettering the 3,449 (ave.50.72) in 47 Tests by Azharuddin. Despite the poor away records, Dhoni will undoubtedly go down as one of India’s
finest captains.

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