Cricket

Walking into the Test sunset

There was much secrecy about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to retire from Tests. Ahead of the New Year, this was a bolt from the blue.

Even his men did not realise what was coming.

It is learnt the Indian team was informed about Dhoni’s retirement only in the dressing room after the Test. There was a sense of shock at the news.

It was a snap decision, probably the biggest in his career.

Reliable sources said Dhoni had planned to leave Test cricket at the end of the series. But, then, he advanced his move since his body was feeling the strain over the five days of a Test.

Had India won the Test at the MCG, Dhoni might have continued till Sydney since the series would have been alive.

After a lively post-match press conference, Dhoni was unavailable for comments. Journalists who ventured to the team hotel to meet Dhoni did so in vain. He had shut himself off.

Actually, before India’s tour of Australia in 2011-12, Dhoni had dropped a strong hint that he would depart from a major format before the title defence of the ODI World Cup in 2015.

He has been true to his word.

While Virat Kohli got a taste of the Test captaincy in Adelaide, he was still only the stand-in skipper. It can be said that Dhoni’s decision to leave Tests before the conclusion of a series may have left Kohli unprepared to assume the role in a full-fledged manner. Yet, it can be argued that Dhoni might have, with the series already decided, given Kohli an opportunity to slip into the role with greater ease.


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 2:10:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/Walking-into-the-Test-sunset/article10965644.ece

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