Mahendra Singh Dhoni stumped every cricket fan on Wednesday when he informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he is stepping down as the skipper of India's One-Day International (ODI) and T20 International sides, to put an end to a trophy-filled era.
The 35-year-old talismanic leader had already retired from Test cricket in December 2014 but continued to lead the national team in the shorter formats of the game.
Dhoni, who had led India to the International Cricket Council (ICC) World T20 title in 2007, before the World Cup victory in 2011 also lifted the Champions Trophy in 2013, apart from taking India to the zenith of the Test rankings during his tenure. He is the only captain in world cricket to win each of the ICC trophies.
'Captain Cool' not only contributed to memorable moments on the field, but also off it. Dhoni made for some memorable interactions with the press, with his interactions getting stormier in 2016 during the ICC World T20. Let us now take a look at some of the most memorable media interactions of his:
1. Dhoni reveals why he promoted himself in the 2011 World Cup final:
Dhoni probably would not have expected too many barbs from the media after leading his side to victory in the final of the 2011 World Cup. The elated skipper spoke of the team's plans to celebrate at the hotel later that evening, aside from discussing the events of the match.
One of the things he discussed at the post-match interaction was his decision to promote himself up the order. Dhoni pointed towards his as well as Gautam Gambhir's running between the wickets, which could help convert singles into doubles and rotate the strike as one of the main reasons. The other being, his ability to tackle Muttiah Muralitharan's doosras.
2. After winning the ICC Champions Trophy 2013:
Dhoni led Team India to victory in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, adding yet another piece of silverware in a crowded cabinet.
After beating England in the final, Dhoni revealed how he motivated his boys at the team huddle at the start of the the English innings, when his team-mates were looking forward to the rain gods saving them from a loss.
"God is not coming to save us, if you want to win the trophy we have to fight it out. We are the No 1 ranked side. Let’s make them fight for 130 runs and not look for outside help," said Dhoni at the presser after beating England in the summit clash by five runs.
3. Final media interaction as Test captain:
Dhoni had been going through a turbulent phase as the skipper in the five-day format. While his accomplishments in limited-overs remained unparalleled, his Test captaincy was on the wane.
Nothing however, could prepare fans and the cricket fraternity for the bomb that he dropped after the third Test against Australia at Melbourne, which ended in a draw that gave the hosts an unassailable series lead.
In his final media interaction as the Test captain, his eyes seemed to have welled up while explaining the team's struggle in the tour. One of the rare occasions when Dhoni displayed his emotions in public.
On a side note, he did not announce his retirement from the format in the conference, with BCCI formally announcing it via a release later.
4. "You seem unhappy with India's win":
Captain Dhoni's mood when it came to interacting with journalists during the ICC World T20 seemed to have been sour on many an occasion. After pulling off a thrilling one-run win over Bangladesh in the group fixture at Bengaluru, Dhoni was asked how satisfied he was with the narrow victory that the tournament hosts had to contend themselves with.
"Aap ke sawaal se lagta hai aapko khushi nahi huyi hai ki India jeet gaya (You seem to be unhappy with India's win judging by your question)," is what Dhoni was quoted as slamming the scribe who dared to test his mood.
5. Dhoni schools Australian journalist after losing World T20 semi-final:
If there is one question that Dhoni really hates, it is that of the length of time he intends to continue playing cricket at the highest level. Or so a journalist found out when he tried asking that to the Indian skipper after the team's loss to West Indies.
Boy he sure does dislike the media. At least, this interaction of his would suggest so.
Updated Date: Jan 05, 2017 21:08 PM