Author: Roshan Kumar Jha
On August 15 this year, when the world’s most successful cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said goodbye to all types of international cricket, his fans were disappointed. When Dhoni announced his retirement after being away from the field for more than a year, there was a demand that the departing of this great player should have been done from inside the ground. In the IPL, this demand calmed down when it came to watching the likes of their favorite players.
Dhoni was right in the IPL, but this time ‘Jalwa’ was missing. In such a situation, before the last match of the season against Punjab, there were speculations that this could be Dhoni’s last match. He was also asked during the toss, but he dismissed these speculations. Chennai’s team management has also said that Dhoni can play as long as he wants. But, Dhoni himself needs to assess his leadership ability along with his personal performance. This is the first time in his career that his own performance along with the team was so bad that the team had to see the worst days in the history of IPL. Almost every time his team made it to the playoffs for the first time, it had to look out for the first time this time. This is the first time Dhoni’s team will not play in the playoffs.
Dhoni is 39 years old. Many players playing in the IPL are older than him. But fitness matters more than age on the field. It is a different matter that the world’s most fit and fine player showed his fitness during the league. During their second match of the season against the Rajasthan Royals, Chennai lost the chase while captain Dhoni himself was on the field. Mahi scored 29 runs off 17 balls, but the way he was gasping while running between the wickets, it seemed clear that his fitness was no longer at the level where he could convert a run into two. Just after a match when the team was on the field against Sunrisers Hyderabad, in that match also Dhoni returned unbeaten after scoring 47 runs from 36 balls, and the team lost by a slight margin of 6 runs. This defeat also proved that Dhoni, once the number one finisher of the world, has now found it difficult to finish the match.
However, Dhoni has said that he will play in the IPL next year as well. Even if there is a year to say, but if everything goes well, then the audience will be seen again on the field after three to four months. This is because the IPL has been held between the months of March to May. It will now be seen how Mahi prepares in such a way that within these four months, he can achieve the same glory in his personal performance along with Chennai.
One thing has to be appreciated among all of them and that is Dhoni’s decision to retire from international cricket. There is no doubt that if Dhoni wanted, he could take a memorable farewell from inside the ground. He was also entitled to this, but he himself had an idea of his fitness and form. He realized that he could no longer perform on the field, so that he could take a memorable farewell from inside the ground. This is also proved by his performance in the IPL. This may have been the reason that he took the decision to retire on his own without any agony and without any pressure. It remains to be seen how long his innings lasts in the IPL.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own