Mahendra Singh Dhoni has stepped down as the captain of the Indian ODI and T20 team effective immediately. The Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed the news via a tweet. His last ODI assignment with the national side was against New Zealand in the 5 match ODI series in October which India won 3-2.
He captained India to the 2011 world cup and the 2007 world T20 among many other achievements.
Having made his captaincy debut in 2007, he led India in 199 in ODIs and 72 T20s and holds the record of having captained the most number of matches by any international player to date in all three formats combined. He also holds the record of having hit the most number of sixes by an international captain.
Out of the 199 ODIs he captained, India won 110, lost 74, and tied 4 and has a win percentage of 59.57 and out of the 72 matches he captained, India won 41 matches, lost 28, and tied one.
The heart of the matter
The reason for his resignation has not yet been revealed. However, there were a lot of rumours regarding him stepping down as the captain in the limited overs format ever since Virat Kohli took over as Test captain and achieved a lot of success in the Tests he captained.
Dhoni handed over the Test captaincy to Kohli after a poor outing against England and Australia in 2014. Since then, his success at the ODI level too was not as good as it was before, as India were knocked out in the semifinals of the ICC World Cup in 2015, and the World T20 which was held in 2016.
He will most likely play under current Test captain Virat Kohli in the limited overs formats as well and will be available for selection for the ODI and T20 series against England which is set to begin on January 15th.
This news has certainly come as a huge shock to the entire sporting fraternity. He probably should have held on to the post of captain for some more time, but it seems like Dhoni is looking at the bigger picture and probably wants Kohli to take up the responsibility ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy which is to be held later this year. His resignation might help in improving his batting as well and it will be interesting to see how things shape up when Dhoni plays under Kohli,if and when Kohli does get chosen as captain. Having said this, he should not retire just yet and should continue playing for the Men in Blue for a few more years.