MS Dhoni walked off in disbelief. His well-worn method of chasing, where he initially settles in like he’s playing in a bygone era, failed on the big stage. On this occasion against New Zealand, he could not steer hot favorite India to a nerve-jangling World Cup semifinal victory.
Dhoni finally hit out by striking a six off the first ball of the penultimate over to revive hope amid the strong Indian contingent in the terraces at Old Trafford in Manchester. But it quickly dissipated when he was shortly after run out by a sensational direct hit from Martin Guptill.
A dejected Dhoni, such a demigod for a billion cricket crazy Indian fans, trudged off with India’s stunning World Cup exit assured in what might have been rather forgettable last innings of a legendary international career.
Dhoni captained India to the T20 World Cup in 2007 – the format’s first-ever showpiece – but bookending his career and helping his country end a 13-year drought at the tournament is the crowd-pleasing ending only likely in a fictionalized sequel to Dhoni’s biopic.
Dhoni’s cricket career is not entirely over as he will continue leading Chennai Super Kings, who he has captained to three titles, in the Indian Premier League starting in April.
At least Mahendra Singh Dhoni will still be attempting to conjure miracle chase downs in the upcoming Indian Premier League.