Why MS Dhoni should retire from international cricket immediately
MS Dhoni should retire from international cricket. Period. He has done enough for the country for over 15 years, has won every possible accolade in his career, and would have definitely surpassed all his childhood dreams.
It is very hard to digest what is happening around him today. People are questioning his place in the side and his utility to the team. Every time a discussion comes up about him now, it is about his retirement.
Will he retire by the end of the year? Does he want a farewell series? Or, does he even want to continue till next year’s T20 World Cup?
Dhoni is a man who has ignited a billion dreams across the country. Indian fans basked under his glory when the man succeeded, and hailed him when he traversed peaks they never knew existed. But now, when he needs them the most, they are calling for his head. That's just how the world works though, isn't it?
It is no secret that Dhoni is going through the most difficult period of his career. He is not showing it to the world; he has this clever way of masking his disappointments. But there is no doubt that Dhoni’s abilities as a batsman are on the wane.
He struggled to get going in the 2019 World Cup and played out a lot of dot balls. Against minnows Afghanistan, Dhoni scored a scratchy 52-ball 28 as the Afghan spinners tied him down.
Even during the semi-final against New Zealand, his slow approach was under question. His strike rate against the Kiwis was just 69.44; Dhoni could not up the ante even as the asking rate kept mounting.
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has gone on record saying, "I have always maintained this one thing. Retirement is an individual call. I think for me selectors should talk to him and ask him about his future plan. Ultimately for me, playing for India you should not be picking and choosing series."
Many former cricketers have been calling for Dhoni's retirement, and that has only added to the mounting pressure that the man is going through right now.
India has a maddening obsession with their heroes. They want them to conjure magic every time they walk onto the field, and when they don’t, they accuse them without even understanding what they are going through.
What better example than Sachin Tendulkar?
There has never been a cricketer who has been under as much scrutiny as Tendulkar. People venerated him as the ‘God of cricket’, turning to him every time they wanted their prayers to be answered.
When he succeeded, they anointed him as cricketing divinity. But when he failed, they questioned their 'God' as though he owed them a huge debt.
In India, cricketers live in a fickle world - a world that is highly volatile, and a world that changes faster than night changes to day.
At this stage of his career, Dhoni has absolutely nothing to prove to anybody. But while every innings he succeeds will only be a small peak compared to the gargantuan mountains that he scaled in the past, every failure will erode the foundations of the very mountain that he scaled.
That is why, it is time for Dhoni to announce his retirement. The selectors might not be brave enough to drop a player of his caliber, so it has to be Dhoni who puts up his hand and makes way for a youngster.
When an icon like Dhoni bids adieu to the sport, he should be remembered as a man who quit at the peak of his powers, and not when he is just a pale shadow of his former self.
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