Former India coach Ravi Shastri has recalled an old incident about MS Dhoni’s sudden retirement from Test cricket in 2014 in Australia. At the end of the Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne, the wicketkeeper-batter decided to bring curtains down on his career in the longest format of the game. Shastri, who was the team director back then, did not anticipate Dhoni’s move.
The now 59-year-old recalled the moment on Sunday (December 26). He told that Dhoni had walked up to him and said he wanted to speak to the players. Shastri thought the then-captain would laud his teammates for pulling off a draw in MCG. Speaking to Star Sports, Shastri said nobody knew that Dhoni had played his last game for India in whites.
“It came as a huge surprise in Melbourne when he said ‘I am finishing with Test cricket’. In fact, he just casually walked up to me and said, ‘Ravi bhai, I need to speak to the boys’. I said ‘sure’. So I thought he would say something; we’d drawn a great game, batted last day. To draw that match was tremendous stuff.
“And he comes out, bolt out of the blue, ‘I am done with Test cricket’. And I just saw the faces around the dressing room, they were in a state of shock, most of them. But that’s MS for you,” Shastri said.
The 59-year-old further opined that Dhoni knew that Virat Kohli was ready to take on leadership duties. He also revealed that the wicketkeeper batter also wanted to prolong his white-ball career
“He knew who was the next leader in the line. He was just waiting for the opportune time to make that announcement because he knew how much his body could take. He wanted to prolong his white-ball career. When his body tells him it’s enough, it’s enough. There’s no second thoughts with MS,” Shastri said.
Dhoni ended up playing 90 Test matches for India and scored 4876 runs with 33 fifties and six centuries to his name.