Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on India’s 74th Independence Day, marking the end of a glorious 16-year career. In his own inimitable style, Dhoni walked away in silence, taking to Instagram and posting a video with a collage of pictures from his incredible journey. The post was followed with the caption, “Thanks. Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. From 1929 hrs consider me as Retired,” and the legendary Mukesh number ‘Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar’ playing in the background. With Dhoni walking away from the limelight, it’s a good time to revisit his best knocks in international cricket.
1. 91 not out vs Sri Lanka (2011 World Cup final)
For obvious reasons, Dhoni’s masterclass in the 2011 World Cup final ranks at the top. Chasing a challenging 275 against Sri Lanka, India were under massive pressure at 114 for 3. Dhoni hadn't been in great form in the tournament, yet decided to lead from the front and promoted himself ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh. He stayed calm right through even after Gautam Gambhir played a rash stroke on 97 to give Lanka hope. Dhoni’s nerveless knock of 91 not out from 79 balls sits among the greatest in World Cup finals, and his six to bring the trophy home is one for the ages.
Thank you so much @msdhoni for giving such a great memories ♥️♥️#Dhoni #DhoniRetires #Dhonifinishesoffinstyle #DhoniRetired #dhoniretire #DhoniRaina #2020worstyear #BCCI #MSDhoni7 #mahi #mahi7781 #MahiRetires pic.twitter.com/jY4SXgf9VD— Sambhav Jain (@Sambhavjain208) August 15, 2020
2. 76 not out in 2007 Lord’s Test
Dhoni’s Test career was not as impressive as his limited-overs one. But, he did play a few defining knocks, none better than the unbeaten 76 at Lord’s in 2007. Chasing 380, India had lost half of their side for 145. Following VVS Laxman’s dismissal with the score at 231 for 6, Dhoni had only the tail for company. Putting aside his natural game, the wicket-keeper batsman dug in for an uncharacteristic 76 from 159 balls, even as wickets kept falling from the other end. With some help from the weather, Dhoni pulled off a great escape for India. The innings was significant as a buoyant India went on to clinch the Test series.
3. 148 vs Pakistan (Vizag ODI 2005)
The knock that announced the arrival of MSD on the international stage. Having failed to make an impact lower down the order in the first few games, Dhoni was sent in at number three by then skipper Sourav Ganguly during the Vizag ODI against Pakistan in April 2005. Pakistan did not know much about Dhoni, but by the time his innings ended, the opponents and the cricketing fraternity knew that a special talent has been unearthed. Using brute force and raw energy, Dhoni muscled his way to 148 from 123 balls with 15 fours and four sixes. The knock came against a decent attack comprising of Mohammad Sami, Naved-ul-Hasan and Abdul Razzaq. A stunned Pakistan went down by 58 runs. The rest, as they say, is history.
4. 224 vs Australia (Chennai Test 2013)
Having been blanked 0-4 in England and Australia in the 2011-12 season, and having conceded the Test series to England at home (2012), Dhoni was under intense pressure when Australia visited India in early 2013. Dhoni though displayed no nerves as he smashed a quite belligerent 224 in the first Test of the series at Chennai. His knock came in response to Australia’s first innings total of 380. The Indian skipper smashed a highly aggressive 224 in 265 balls to pave the way for an impressive eight-wicket triumph. His knock set the tone of the series, and India went on to hammer the Aussies 4-0.
5. 183 not out vs Sri Lanka (Jaipur ODI 2005)
Just a few months after his Vizag blitzkrieg, Dhoni demonstrated his finishing prowess. India were set to chase a tough 299 in the third ODI against Sri Lanka. This time, skipper Rahul Dravid did a Ganguly and promoted Dhoni to number three. The hard-hitting batsman delivered again, plundering the Lankan attack en route to his unbeaten 183 from 145 balls, featuring 10 sixes. The standout aspect of this knock was that Dhoni wasn’t satisfied with a hundred, and went on to stay till the very end. It wouldn't be wrong to say that the Jaipur innings gave birth to Dhoni the finisher.
Arjun Tendulkar, the son of Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, finally made his senior debut as he donned the Mumbai jersey during an Elite Group E fixture of the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020/21.
After missing the first two games, Arjun played his first game during Mumbai's third game of the tournament. However, the pacer didn't have the best of outings as he finished his spell at 3-0-34-1.
Arjun had conceded 15 runs in his first over before returning to take the wicket of Haryana opener, Chaitanya Bishnoi. However, Mumbai ended up losing the game by 8 wickets, and thus, crashed out of the tournament with two games still to play.
The 21-year-old is expected to be retained in the line-up for the remaining games. After the all-rounder bagged his first wicket, he became one of the top trends on social media. England women's team batter Danielle Wyatt also reacted to the southpaw's debut.
Wyatt, who is known to be a close friend of Arjun, lauded and congratulated the youngster for bagging a wicket on his debut. "Congratulations Arjun! Great start," the World Cup winner wrote on Twitter.
During an interaction with Cricket.com, Wyatt, who has after faced Arjun in the nets, said the youngster is getting quicker.
“Since then whenever I bump into Sachin or Arjun or whenever they come to Lord’s to train, I go to the nets and ask him (Arjun) to bowl with the new ball to me. But he is getting very quick now. He always says I will bounce you and knock your head off so I don’t like him bowling to me anymore. He is getting too dangerous to face,” Wyatt had said in June 2020.
Having finally made his senior debut, Arjun could be in action in IPL 2021 as he is now eligible to register for the auction. As per the norms, unless a franchise recommends someone, a player has to play at least one domestic game to enter the IPL auction.
Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne cleared up the comments he made about Marnus Labuschagne that earned him a fair bit of flak from the Australian fans. However, Warne on Saturday cleared up the comments he made about Labuschagne.
Warne was blasted by the Australian cricket fraternity after Labuschagne scored a ton on Day 1 of the fourth Test against India at Gabba. During the third Test, Warne, alongside former teammate and all-rounder Andrew Symonds, was reportedly heard using an 'expletive' while commentating on Marnus' batting.
"Jeez it's annoying. 'No!!!' Just f---ing bat properly," he had said according to World Wide of Sports.
Warne said he's a huge fan of Labuschagne's batting and added that the had already cleared the air with 26-year-old. The 51-year-old instead revealed that Marnus was 'ok' with it and the pair had a laugh regarding the same.
“I just want to clear something up,” Warne said on Fox Cricket.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Marnus. I’ve read a few reports saying ‘cop that Shane!’ about what you said about [him]. What I said about Marnus Labuschagne was ‘bat properly’. And what that means is none of that silly stuff of ‘wait on!’ and all of that carry on," he added
“Just bat, because you’re such a good player and yesterday I thought he didn’t do any of that stuff and he made a brilliant hundred.
Indian team vice-captain Rohit Sharma has been facing a lot of criticism for playing an aerial shot off the bowling of Nathan Lyon, which led to his dismissal on Day 2 of the ongoing fourth Test in Brisbane.
However, Rohit, who played a knock of 44, said he does not regret playing the aerial shot, despite gifting his wicket to Lyon, who is making his 100th Test appearance for Australia. Instead, Rohit said that he didn't connect his shot properly.
"I reached where I wanted to reach, just that I did not connect with where I wanted to hit the ball. I was trying to pierce that long-on and deep square-leg fielder, I just did not connect with the way I would have loved to," Rohit said during a virtual press conference
"I actually liked what I did today, before coming here, we knew it would be a good pitch to bat, of course, there would be bounce and carry to the keeper, but this is what I enjoy," the 33-year-old added.
"Once I was in and I had played a few overs, I realised there was not much swing so I did little adjustment there, after that, it was an unfortunate dismissal, it is something I won't regret. I like to put pressure on the bowler once I am in," he further stated.
"That is my role in this team to keep putting pressure on the bowlers. The run-scoring has been slightly difficult for both the teams so someone needs to put their hand up and think about how to put pressure on the bowlers," he concluded.
India will resume day 3 at 62/2 after rain forced early stumps on day 2 at the Gabba. The visitors are trailing the hosts by 307 runs. The series is currently tied at 1-1 after the Sydney Test ended in a stalemate.
Nathan Lyon on Friday became the 13th Australian player to play 100 Tests in the 'baggy green' as he lined-up on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth and final Test in Brisbane. He marked his debut with the wicket of Rohit Sharma.
It has been some journey for Nathan Lyon, having made his Test debut in 2011 against Sri Lanka at Galle. As called by his teammates, 'Garry' has enjoyed a decade of success and will now unarguably qualify as one of the greatest bowlers to have ever graced the game.
Lyon is already the third-highest wicket-taker for the Aussies with 397 wickets to his name. And, considering the fact that he started his journey as a pitch curator at the Adelaide Oval, Lyon's story is nothing short of a fairytale.
In the same light, Lyon has now recalled the humorous interaction that he had with his father before putting on the Australian Baggy Green Cap for the first time. Lyon revealed that his father was happy that he would at least play a single Test match for Australia.
“I called Mum and Dad, I think Dad was out the back of Temora (NSW town) somewhere working. I said, ‘Dad, you won’t believe this,’ and he said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘I’m making my debut.’ He goes, ‘That’s all right, at least you’ll play one game,’ and he hung up,” said Lyon in a chat with Mark Howard on Fox Cricket.
Lyon said that his father got too emotional and hung up early to avoid a conversation. He also recalled that both his mother as well as his grandmother were crying and also added that his brother was totally speechless.
“I’ve since found out that he was probably too emotional to talk. Then I called my brother, and he was speechless. Mum started crying… I called my grandmother and she started crying,” the off-spinner added.
Lyon would savour every moment he is spending at The Gabba as the match will determine the outcome of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is currently tied at 1-1- after India salvaged a draw in Sydney.
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