India’s ‘Captain Cool’ MS Dhoni turns 39 on Tuesday, July 7. Dhoni hasn’t played a single international game for India since the team’s shock exit in the World Cup 2019 semi-finals to New Zealand in Manchester. Ever since there have been constant speculations about his retirement even as the man in question has maintained an eerie silence throughout.
Irrespective of whether or not he plays another game for India though, Dhoni will go down in history as one of India’s greatest ODI batsmen as well as captain. His achievements speak for itself. As the Superman from Ranchi turns 39, here’s a look at few of his incredible records that may never be broken.
Winner of all three ICC trophies as captain
This is the most obvious one of course. To date, Dhoni is the only captain in history to win all three ICC trophies. Despite being an inexperienced captain himself, he led a young side incredibly well as Team India lifted the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, defeating Pakistan in a tense final. This was the tournament in which Dhoni’s now-legendary calmness as skipper came to the fore.
Four years later, he brushed off poor form with the bat to come up with the goods when it mattered most. Dhoni’s unbeaten 91 from 79 in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka saw India ace a tough chase of 275, and lift the coveted crown after 28 years.
Dhoni the captain then created history in 2013 when he led India to the ICC Champions Trophy title in England. India beat the hosts in a low-scoring thriller in the final as Dhoni became the first captain to capture all three ICC crowns.
Captain in six T20 World Cups
This is another record that is highly unlikely to be broken. Starting with 2007, Dhoni has captained India in every subsequent T20 World Cup edition, albeit without the same degree of success -- 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. India lost to Sri Lanka in 2014 final and went down to West Indies in the 2016 semis. With captaincy stints not lasting too long in the present era, and careers also being shortened due to excess cricket, it seems difficult for any player to lead his side in as many T20 World Cups as Dhoni has done.
Most international matches as captain
When Dhoni took over as India’s captain in 2007, the split captaincy wasn’t in vogue. Following the success of the 2007 T20 World Cup, and the subsequent Indian Premier League (IPL), the shortest version of the game took off. And within a few years, the demand for different captains for different formats became a reality. Currently, most teams are following the split captaincy formula. This is precisely why it looks next to impossible for Dhoni’s record of most international matches as captain -- 332 -- to be broken.
Most stumpings in international cricket
Leave alone his incredible batting, Dhoni’s lightning-quick glove work itself has won his numerous admirers. It is no surprise then than in 538 international matches he has effected an amazing 195 stumpings. Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is next on the list with 139. Even if an extraordinary wicket-keeper comes by, it will be practically impossible for him to feature in all three formats. Thus, Dhoni’s stumping record also seems relatively safe.
Most not outs in ODIs
To term Dhoni a master finisher in one-dayers would be an understatement. He loved taking the match to the very end so that much of the pressure is transferred on to the bowler. Thanks to this unique tactic, he has remained not out 84 times in 350 one-dayers. This record doesn’t seem under much threat either as T20Is are preferred to ODIs these days. For the record, Chaminda Vaas and Shaun Pollock are joint seconds on the list with 72 not outs to their name.
Winning the World Cup with a six
This is the stuff dreams are made off. To clinch a World Cup with a six is the ultimate example of timing things to perfection. Dhoni scripted the fairy-tale finish against Sri Lanka at Mumbai in 2011. An encore is not impossible, but highly improbable.
An awkward incident took place on the second day of the first Test between England and Pakistan. When all-rounder Shadab Khan was batting with opener Shan Masood, the former asked for a change of shoes and former Pakistan captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed entered the ground as the 12th man carrying those shoes.
This did not go down well with former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar who termed as a humiliation of not only Sarfaraz but of respect and seniority in the game of cricket. Unlocking a barrage of words, Shoaib called Sarfaraz a weak and docile character who compromised with his respect. The Rawalpindi express didn’t stop there and rained on team management for making such a senior player carry the shoes.
“Those visuals, they were disrespectful. You can’t do this to a player who has led the national side for four years and got you the Champions Trophy. While I also believe that Sarfaraz is a weak character and he compromised with the situation. To me carrying the shows is not wrong. But the intent behind making Sarfaraz do that is very wrong. Even if he did it on his own, then someone senior should have stopped,” Akhtar said while speaking on Boss news.
No disrespect, it’s very humble of Sarfaraz to do that - Misbah
Late in the day an explanation over the same issue was given by current head coach of the team, Misbah-ul-Haq. Misbah said that it was a rather very humble gesture from Sarfaraz that he did it.
“I think there was nothing wrong with it. He was helping the team as the rest of the players were either playing or practicing. I think Sarafaraz is a great human being. He knows that it’s a team game and everybody needs to help. Plus, it is a sign of a good team,” Misbah said.
One might have seen dogs going out with their owners and playing with Frisbee or dodge balls or sometimes with rubber cricket balls too. We associate such playful characteristics with a dog quite easily. But what if you were told that a cat can catch balls with paws? Are you shocked? Well, don’t be, as the cat in the video below catches balls better than many fielders and even the renowned cricket commentators agree to it.
It was the former Australia cricketer turned commentator Dean Jones who shared the video on his official Twitter handle. Uploading the video, Jones wrote, “Have seen worst fielders I can assure you.”
In the video, a girl hits balls with a golf stick and shoots the activity on her mobile phone. Her cute little cat catches every ball and that too with just her two claws. There is a small net placed behind the cat just so that the ball doesn’t go far.
The video went viral with as many as 1.5 lakh views gathered by it in a very short span of time. Additionally, it got 7,000 likes and more than 1200 retweets.
Look at the second catch: Harsha Bhogle in awe of the cat’s catching abilities
Dean Jones was not the only commentator who was super impressed by the cat. Even Indian commentator and cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle remained awestruck by the cat’s abilities to hold on to such cats.
Replying to Dean Jones’ tweet, Bhogle wrote, “That second catch!” with clapping hands emoji.
Fans too were amazed to see the cat take the catches so easily. They compared it with former South African cricketers and one of the revolutionaries in the field- Jonty Rhodes, while others called former Pakistan wicketkeeper, Rashid Latif who was known for his agility behind the wickets and small height.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might have had to struggle a bit after it received a shock in the form of Indian Premier League (IPL)’s title sponsor VIVO mobiles pulling out from the deal. The Chinese company pulled out just ahead of the tournament because of the negative publicity it got on social media.
However, now things seem to be materializing in a better way for the board as there are a variety of companies ready to sponsor the league and leading the race is e-commerce giant Amazon. If reports in News 18 are to be believed then, BCCI is ready to negotiate a deal even with 1/3rd of the amount that VIVO was offering.
"If they are able to strike a deal worth Rs 180 crore, which would be just one-third of VIVO’s 440, even then also it would be a win-win situation for the board," a source close to the board was quoted as saying in the report.
Non-competitive brands can partner to pull in money for sponsorship
The source further hinted that BCCI is also looking at the idea of two non competing brands to take the lead and pool in the money for the sponsorship to serve their causes.
"You know the board is also looking for partners, so for example, BYJUs and Unacademy are rivals and so are Dream 11 and My Circle 11 in their own core areas. But if Dream 11 gets the title and BYJUs come in as official partners to pool in the money or if Unacademy gets the title and My Circle 11 pools in then that is also accepted by the board,” the source said.
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and his partner Natasa Stankovic were recently blessed with a baby boy. The cricketer had shared the good news on social media platforms. While enjoying his duties, Hardik is posting adorable videos and pictures of his son. The newborn is hogging a lot of limelight these days.
Hardik’s brother Krunal Pandya recently uploaded a clip with his nephew. Taking to his official Instagram handle, Krunal posted a video. He captioned the video as, “Let’s talk cricket”.
Tell him to become a fast-bowling all-rounder - KL Rahul
While people showered blessings on the little one, India batsman KL Rahul predicted the career profession of the junior Hardik Pandya.
He suggested Krunal to make the baby boy a fast-bowling all-rounder in future.
“Please tell him to become a fast-bowling all-rounder,” Rahul commented on the post.
KL Rahul is currently gearing up for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, which is scheduled to take place from September 19 in the UAE. While Rahul will lead Kings XI Punjab franchise, Pandya brothers will be back in action for the defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Notably, all the matches of IPL 2020 will be played across three cities - Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
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