Former Indian opener and captain Sunil Gavaskar on Tuesday said that the contributions of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has just retired from the Test format, to Indian cricket “cannot be measured” in words. Gavaskar also praised the way that Dhoni handled the transition.
After losing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to Australia in Melbourne, Dhoni today announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect. Reacting to this Gavaskar said, “What he has achieved for Indian cricket is incredible, what he brought and his contribution cannot be measured in words.
The legendary cricketer feels Dhoni felt the strain on not just his body but also in his mind.
He envisaged, “It just got a little too much for him. There were huge expectations, so they were putting a lot of strain on him. The overseas defeats and seeing the team concede 500 runs and bowling 100 overs in almost every Tests took a toll on his mind also. I have always said that a captain is as good as the team. He may have thought that it’s the right time to hand over Test captaincy to Virat Kohli. Virat was not affected by captaincy as he reeled off a century in each innings. That’s why he is stepping away for Kohli, who is having fantastic series in Australia.”
Gavaskar opined that this will provide Dhoni – who remains India’s T20 and ODI skipper – more time to prepare for the upcoming tri-series, involving England & Australia, as well as the 2015 World Cup Down Under.
“This will give him more time to get his mind rejuvenated for the tri-series and World Cup,” said Gavaskar.
Gavaskar fondly remembered the Test match after which India rose to the number one position in Tests, and in which Dhoni also scored a century, as Dhoni’s best moment. He also thoroughly praised his smashing hundred against a Shoaib Akhtar-inspired Pakistan in Faisalabad.
Gavaskar said when the captaincy was given to Dhoni, he did his job with full force. He said “As a skipper Dhoni surely had his moments and down moments as well and has been very vulnerable overseas.”
Millions of Indian fans will always remember Dhoni’s great moments in test cricket.