So typical of MS Dhoni, right? Choose an unexpected time to make an unexpected announcement. He won’t be leading CSK anymore.
Though, to be fair, this was something people were anticipating but not like this. Not this abruptly. But he has made the decision and knowing him, it’s going to stick. As Dhoni makes way for Ravindra Jadeja, we look at some amazing moments from his career as CSK skipper. Some of these are not about captaincy but even those are about leadership and what it meant to his fans.
1. When fans packed the entire MA Chidambaram Stadium for an MS Dhoni PRACTICE SESSION and welcomed him with applause that never ceases to give us goosebumps.
Imagine rocking up to your training session like this.. https://t.co/Bg0uVWw0Hs— Albie Morkel (@albiemorkel) March 18, 2019
2. When he led the ‘Dad Army’ to victory in 2018. Nine players in this particular team were older than 30 years and no one thought they’d be able to win. Well, they did, didn’t they?
3. In 2020, when people had started dismissing Dhoni, he took this 8-foot-long dive to dismiss Shreyas Iyer. The images and videos of this catch spread like wildfire, the captain proved everyone incorrect yet again.
4. When he scored a 6-ball-18 to take his side to the 9th IPL final in 2021 that the team eventually won. Leading by example, always.
5. In 2010, he got Shadab Jakati to bowl, knowing that Sachin Tendulkar will find it hard(er) to play left-arm spin. The move paid off, and in a huge blow to Mumbai Indians, Sachin was dismissed very soon. CSK won the match and then the final to lift the trophy.
6. The humble captain was once spotted sleeping on the airport floor because he does not like to make a big deal out of himself.
7. He always realised that his duty as a captain went beyond leading the team. He feels responsible for the fans and their emotions too. In 2021, he signed a cricket ball for two kids who were seen crying during CSK’s semifinal against Delhi.
MS Dhoni gifted the signed ball to the young girl who supported CSK. Wonderful gesture by MS. pic.twitter.com/jIm17gAmpj— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) October 10, 2021
8. He once gave his business class seat to team manager K George John, and went to economy because the captain cared.
When a man who’s seen it all, done it all in Cricket tells you, “Your legs are too long, sit in my seat (Business Class), I’ll sit in Economy.” The skipper never fails to amaze me. @msdhoni pic.twitter.com/bE3W99I4P6— George John (@georgejohn1973) August 21, 2020
9. This year, he refused to be CSK’s first retention to make sure that other players get the chance to grab better deals.
As per reports (ESPNCricinfo), MS Dhoni doesn’t want to be CSK’s top pick for #IPLRetention. He wants management to pick another player who is worthy of being their top-earning player. 💛— Aditya Singh Rawat (@Catslayer_999) November 27, 2021
Not in it for the money, in it for the game! 🐐#CSK #MSDhoni #IPLAuction #IPLAuction2022
10. Ultimately, he gave the captaincy of CSK to Ravindra Jadeja because he knows it was time. Having led the team to victory last year, even his critics wouldn’t have suggested a step-down. However, he knows how he can contribute to the team in the best way possible. We don’t know the exact reason as of now, but it’s Dhoni we are talking about. There must be something.
Under MS Dhoni’s leadership, CSK has won the trophy 4 times in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021. The side has played 9 finals in total, making it the most successful side in the tournament. The Indian Premier League will never be the same anymore. A warm goodbye to the captain.