Virat Kohli was the direct choice made by MS Dhoni after he retired from Test cricket mid-way in the 2014 Australia series. Even in 2017, when MS Dhoni stepped down from limited-overs captaincy, Virat Kohli was handed the banton. And former India women’s great Anjum Chopra felt that Dhoni showed great courage in taking the decision.
After Kohli took over, he surpassed Dhoni, to become the most successful captain in the longest format of the game. Kohli also led India to the 2019 World Cup, where the team was knocked out after losing to New Zealand in the semi-finals. Incidentally, that also marked the final match for MS Dhoni in international cricket.
“When you see a step like that (giving up captaincy) taken by someone, it’s not only titles which govern the person. It’s a larger than titles tag that a person is looking for. It’s not like his contribution will only be there as an Indian captain. His contribution will be there in setting up and allowing the next generation person to mould himself while Dhoni is at that level,” Anjum Chopra told India Today.
“Passing on that baton, it’s very easily said and commented about but the moment you think individually that someone else has the opportunity to do that, would they have the courage to do that? Dhoni symbolised and showed that character, that courage,” she added.
Kohli, meanwhile, has always been grateful and shown immense gratitude and respect towards Dhoni. As Dhoni called time on his career, Kohli said in his video that, ‘you will always remain my captain’.
“Mein pal do pal ka shaayar hu…..,” said the song which played in the background of MS Dhoni’s retirement showreel. Although, Dhoni at his humble best, might consider himself as ‘pal do pal ka shaayar’, for fans he will always remain a legend of the game. Hearts broke as the 2011 World Cup winning captain announced his retirement via Instagram.
All the success had made him one of the most influential person on the cricketing circuit but he was not the same when he was first introduced to the national team. Besides that, MS Dhoni has also been the go-to man for his teammates whenever he was on the field.