Yuvraj SIngh was the Man of the Tournament in the 2011 Cricket World Cup that India won under Mahendra Singh Dhoni (AFP)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s last match as captain of an Indian cricket team did not go as planned. The Dhoni-led India A team’s 304 for five was beaten by England XI’s 307 for seven in 48.5 overs in the first of two one-day warm up games before the start of the India-England ODI series.
(Ranji Trophy final live)
But nevertheless, the stellar captain did get a fond farewell at the Brabourne Stadium as fans and players alike showed their appreciation for arguably the best cricket captain in all formats that India has ever had till date.
More than 15,000 people in the stadium — and many more via television — played witness to a daring spectator climb a 10-foot fencing and dodge security personal just to touch Dhoni’s feet and shake his hand.
Later in the dressing room, Yuvraj Singh took the opportunity of the last match to personally thank Dhoni for all the years of guidance and faith which helped him enjoy much of his cricket.
Yuvraj Singh posted a video in social media which features him and Mahendra SIngh Dhoni seated together to his Instagram profile (@yuvisofficial) with the caption:
Well done @mahi7781 on your career as captain ! 3 major wins 2 w cups time to unleash the old dhoni
The video begins with Yuvraj Singh first asking about the journey as India’s captain to which Dhoni replied, “The journey has been good. Fantastic!” before praising Yuvraj saying, “It’s good to have players like you, the job becomes much more easier (sic).” He continued saying, “I enjoyed my 10 years. Hopefully I’ll enjoy more, whatever I have.”
At this juncture in the video, Yuvraj Singh heaped praise on Mahendra Singh Dhoni saying, “You’ve been one of the best captains ever, I would like to tell you that. It’s been amazing playing under you, winning three big championships, world cups, and being the No 1 Test team under you. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to go and slog as always.”
Almost fittingly, the video captures the voices of the crowd in the background as scores of people can be heard chanting “Dhoni, Dhoni” in unison.
Yuvraj also asked Dhoni’s, “Since you are not the captain, are you going to hit more sixes now?” to which he responded, “Let’s see if they bowl in the right areas, if the situation permits, I will look to hit sixes.”
Dhoni’s decision to step down as captain of the limited-overs team was announced by the Board of Cricket Control for India on January 4.
Reports later emerged that the decision was not of his own choosing and that Dhoni had been asked to relinquish captaincy with an eye on preparations for the 2019 World Cup, beginning with the 2017 Champions Trophy.
As captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni led the Indian team through its greenest patch, eventually becoming the first captain to win all three ICC limited-overs trophies.
India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the CB Series of 2007–08, the 2010 Asia Cup, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy while Dhoni was captain.