Former India Test skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni had gone on to the join the league of the legends, before he decided to bid farewell to Test cricket in 2014 after nine-long years.
However, since then India has tried and tested many options but hasn’t found a perfect replacement for Dhoni in particular. There are ample reasons for it, and we will discuss why stalwart Dhoni shouldn’t have retired from Test cricket.
Meanwhile, MS Dhoni made his debut against Sri Lanka in 2005, one year after his One-day International debut against Bangladesh. He immediately made a mark by making that Test spot his own and India were in search of a regular wicketkeeper-batsman.
Since then, he has played 90 Test matches for India scoring 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09.
Furthermore, his statistics behind the stumps is also unmatched affecting 256 catches and 38 stumpings.
Post his retirement many former cricketers have criticised the decision saying he shouldn’t have retired from Test cricket.
Legendary Sunil Gavaskar noted that his contribution to the team only as a player is unparallel.
“I would have actually liked MS Dhoni to maybe give up captaincy and still stay in the team as wicketkeeper-batsman because his advice in the dressing room would have been invaluable,” Gavaskar said earlier this year.
Let us take a look at why Mahendra Singh Dhoni shouldn’t have retired Test Cricket for India:
Dhoni is arguably the best captain India has ever produced. The cricketer from Ranchi has led India in 60 Test matches with a win percentage of 45 per cent. Under his captaincy, India reached the pinnacle of Test rankings in 2009.
Moreover, his ability to lead the side and guiding youngsters took him to another level. Dhoni’s has a great game reading ability which has helped India in numerous ways.
Most recently, former Indian gloveman pointed out that Dhoni didn’t do the right thing retiring from Tests.
“I still feel Dhoni didn’t do the right thing by retiring from Tests. Virat still needs his guidance and also the next batch could have learnt more about the rigours of Test cricket from him,” Kirmani said.
On the basis of experience:
Dhoni has played the most number of Test matches among India wicket-keeper with a tally of 90 Test from the span of 2015 to 2014.
Since being in the Test side, he has played almost all the matches barring few due to injuries.
With a whole lot of experiences behind his back, Dhoni could have guided young Virat Kohli, who is more of an aggressive skipper. MS Dhoni can judge the game and accordingly plan quickly.
He could have been a perfect recipe for the Indian team in the ongoing Test series against England.
Stability in the batting order:
Although Dhoni is not the best Test batsmen, his ability to carry an innings with tailenders sets him apart. Time and again, he has done that for India shouldering the innings from critical situations.
Out of the 4,876 Test runs, MS Dhoni has scored 4,717 runs batting at No. 6, 7, and 8 number. However, since his retirement, India has not found a wicket-keeper, who has the ability to bat with the tail.
Wriddhiman Saha has somewhat failed to stamp his authority as a batsman, who can bat with the bowlers.
Out with injury now, Dinesh Karthik, who replaced Saha, has also failed to do the job Dhoni did for India.
Dhoni has been one of the best wicket-keeper to have donned the Test jersey for India. He has been brilliant with the gloves on and especially with his unmatching reflexes.
Dhoni had self-belief in himself which India lacked since his retirement. India has tried and tested many options, but nobody has shown the authority with which Dhoni played.
The agility of Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps despite age cropping up also sets him apart from the rest. He announced his Test cricket retirement too early.