It took just one game for the universal mood to change over MS Dhoni, India’s former captain. The 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman scored only his second fifty of the 2019 World Cup and that too in 72 balls but unlike in some past innings in which he was being slammed for batting slow, the show in the semi-final left him a tragic hero and with a lot of sympathy. It was being predicted that Dhoni was turning out in blue one last time after India were left gasping for breath at 71 for 5 but he almost went to the extent of extending his career till at Lord’s for the final.
But one brilliant run out effected by Martin Guptill cut short his hope and with that, the dream of millions. India had a pathetic start to their batting in the semi-final clash versus New Zealand at Old Trafford by losing their top three fishes for only five runs on board. The target was 240 and Dhoni’s delayed arrival at the crease left former captain like Sourav Ganguly baffled. Yet, he joined hands with Ravindra Jadeja (77 off 59) to take India to the doorsteps of victory but could not nail it eventually.
India lost in yet another World Cup semi-final, this time by 18 runs. The fans of the Blue Brigade, who were bashing Dhoni even a few days ago for playing slow in death overs, were now overwhelmed by emotions and were urging the World Cup-winning captain not to retire. Even legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar requested the cricketer not to step down. On social media, #Donotretiredhoni was trending.
Dhoni excelled while other batsman-keepers failed
It was enthralling to see that in the tight situation that India found themselves in, it was the senior-most of the three Indian wicket-keeper-batsmen in the side – Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik and Dhoni – came out with a more responsible approach although Karthik was unfortunate to have caught brilliantly.
In a career spanning nearly 15 years till now, Dhoni has played in 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20Is scoring over 17,000 runs and effecting over 800 dismissals (catch and stumpings combined).
Here are some of the tweets that were posted with hashtag #Donotretiredhoni:
Hey Msd we are watching your Batting since we were able to understand cricket,your are our super hero,last hope of Millions of your fan.dont disappointment them,Play for india until you have believe on yourself. Love you MSD.🙂#Lasthope pic.twitter.com/vUSmI3eFvY
— prateek jain (@prateeks1129) July 11, 2019
— Rohit Satras (@RohitSatras3) July 11, 2019
— hari haran (@hariharan1379) July 11, 2019
Words fell short to describe emotions of fans attached with U Mahi❣😍 Most Loved Cricketer ever😍 Keep Shining nd Keep hitting always….#DhoniInBillionHearts #donotretiredhoni 🦁 pic.twitter.com/qD4tFY7zKm
— Pooja (@mote_pooja) July 12, 2019
— Aishu8196 (@AishvaryaDg) July 12, 2019
Dear MSD, You have given everything to Indian Cricket and filled the dreams of all the indians by winning the World Cup and other major trophies. You won the matches for India where the win was impossible but you made them possible. Please don't retire. #donotretiredhoni pic.twitter.com/bZ3YRyDzmx
— Soumya Maity (@SoumyaM38151593) July 12, 2019
Fought with Injured Right Hand , shows your love towards Country . No one can ever achieve what you have till now and still you can achieve more and you will . We believe in you @msdhoni #donotretiredhoni #DhoniInBillionHearts pic.twitter.com/EbozHOp2XO
— Sachin Patel (@sachin09patel) July 12, 2019
— Deepak Gour (@Dg6062) July 12, 2019
— Ravinder Jangra (@Ravinde26215310) July 12, 2019
#donotretiredhoni Dhoni plz dont retire india needs u and the indians need u《 "each and every time india lost some people blames u because they all know that u are the only person who can games for india"》 pic.twitter.com/k4nAcRgrcr
— suren smm (@SurenSmm) July 12, 2019
— Vishal Keshri (@VishalK69668110) July 12, 2019
— Pavan (@dubeypavan) July 12, 2019
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