On the second of April, almost 10 years ago, at about 11 PM, MS Dhoni lobbed a length ball deep into long-on. He stood there, then calmly turned around and plucked the ritualistic stump as a souvenir.
An unsuspecting human watching that very moment wouldn’t have been aware that the stump was from the World Cup final at home that Dhoni had just won for India with a billion people watching.
That’s just how MSD was throughout his career and what a career it has been! Dhoni has played International cricket for almost 16 years and he has won every trophy that had to be won.
He had walked into raging storms and sailed through those seas to bring the Men in Blue home more times than one can recall.
He has made successful players out of Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma. Remember the stick everyone used to give Dhoni for persisting with Rohit despite all those failures?
He got India to Test number 1. He captained a young Indian team to win the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. He then stepped up and won the ODI World Cup in 2011 and then the Champions Trophy in 2013. I am not even gonna count the IPLs here.
And yet the most I remember seeing him celebrating was when he got his first ODI wicket.
MS Dhoni was Captain Cool. He made everything look easy. He made winning a habit for India. All without an ounce of stress or a celebratory smile on his face.
He went about his business for 16 years like a 9-5 employee. He woke up, went to work, did a good job and went back home to his family and dogs. Every day, without fail.
Some days were better than others…
Some felt like a kick to the gut…
But if you didn’t follow him around that day, you would ever know for he would never show it.
So, it is no surprise that his retirement came out of nowhere. At 7:29 PM on the 15th of August, MS Dhoni informed us that our story together had come to an end.
Sure, there will be farewells and tears and op-eds written about the great one for a few days. But just like he did for a major part of his career, MS Dhoni won’t be paying attention to it.