On this day in 2019: When legendary MS Dhoni played his last match for India


India’s World Cup winning captain MS Dhoni played his last for the Indian team in the semi-final of the World tournament in 2019, on this day. A tense outing came to an end after Martin Guptill’s brilliant throw hit the stumps.

MS Dhoni plays a shot in the 2019 World Cup. (Courtesy: Reuters)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • India lost to New Zealand in the semi-final of the World Cup
  • Dhoni scored 50 off 72 balls in the semi-final
  • The legendary Indian captain decided to retire a year from this game

Legendary Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s international career was marked with feats that none of the Indian captains of his era or the ones before could ever achieve. One of the most decorated players of all time, MS Dhoni is unrivalled at several aspects of the game. His abilities behind the stumps, his sharp brain behind the game and his command over pressure situations, has been a learning aspect for many players.

As brilliant as he might be, MS Dhoni’s final game in the Indian jersey was a heart-breaking one. Playing in the 2019 World Cup where India were thought to be one of the favourites, MS Dhoni was not able to pull off one of his miracle late chases in the semi-finals against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand.

In the 49th over of the game, while trying to convert a push to the square leg region into two runs, the ageing legs of the lightning fast runner could not push him hard enough to complete the second run.

In what is one of the most iconic images now, Dhoni was found short of the crease by millimetres as Martin Guptill’s throw crashed into the stumps at the striker’s end.

As Dhoni took a long walk back to the stadium, India’s hopes of reaching the finals disappeared and Dhoni’s legacy ended with the Indian team.

While he did not announce his retirement right away after the game, Dhoni did not play for the national team ever again. He would announce his retirement next year on India’s Independence Day on 15th August, at the exact time when he was run out by Guptill.

While Dhoni might not have taken the field again, his presence still remains to be influential in Indian cricket.
He was the mentor of the Indian team in the 2021 T20 World Cup in the Indian team and even made a presence in the dressing room of the current Indian side that is touring in England at the moment.

He was also regularly seen speaking to young cricketers, imparting his wisdom in the Indian Premier League 2022.

— ENDS —