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MS Dhoni’s decision to retire from Tests was firm, reveals Ravi Shastri

MS Dhoni’s decision to retire from Tests was firm, reveals Ravi Shastri

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Ravi Shastri, in his recently launched book ‘Stargazing: The Players in my life’, has revealed that MS Dhoni was firm about his decision to retire from Test cricket. Shastri also wrote that he wanted to speak to Dhoni about re-considering his retirement but the firmness in his tone stopped him.

Dhoni’s retirement from Test cricket is still a mystery in Indian cricket, even after almost seven years. He was just 10 Tests away from playing his 100th match in the longest format of the game. He announced his retirement just after the Boxing Day Test against Australia in 2014. 

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“All cricketers say landmarks and milestones don’t matter, but some do. I approached the issue in a roundabout way, probing for an opening to make him change his mind. But there was a firmness to MS’s tone that stopped me from pushing the matter any further.  Looking back, I think his decision was correct; also brave and selfless. Giving up on the most powerful position in cricket in the world, in a way, couldn’t have been easy,” wrote Shastri, reported TOI.

The 90-Test veteran was one of the most successful Indian captains. Under his captaincy, India became the number 1 Test team for the first time in 2009. He captained the team in 60 Tests out of which team won 27, lost 18 and drew 15. Shastri showered praise on Dhoni’s keeping, batting, and captaincy. 

“MS is an unorthodox cricketer. His technique, in front of and behind the stumps, is not easily replicable. My suggestion to youngsters is don’t try imitating him unless it comes naturally. What made him so successful were his splendid hands. They were quicker than a pickpocket’s!. No other wicketkeeper, at least in the era MS has played, was that fast. He was the best in the world for a long while, and in white-ball cricket by a long distance,” Shastri added.

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“MS was sharp in his observation of whatever was happening on the field, and uncanny when it came to taking decisions based on ‘reading’ the trend of play. This quality of his went unnoticed simply because he made such few mistakes. His success with the Decision Review System shows not just fine judgement, but also how well he would be positioned behind the stumps to make the call.” 

 

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