It looks MS Dhoni has unofficially retired from international cricket. The IPL this year was the last hope for him to make a comeback to the Indian team. However, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, his hopes have been dashed as IPL is unlikely to take place this year. Dhoni has not spoken anything about his future as an Indian player yet.
It has been almost a year since Dhoni last played for India. His last international appearance was in the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. If it does happen to be Dhoni’s last match, he will earn a dubious distinction of being run-out in both his first and last ODI match.
There have been a few players who have debuted after Dhoni, but retired much before him. Here are a few players who have done so:
1) Ambati Rayudu
The Indian middle-order batsman made his ODI debut in 2013, 9 years after Dhoni’s debut. He had an on and off international career. He got his best chance to claim a permanent place in the Indian team after the 2019 IPL where he played a stellar role in Chennai Super Kings’ title triumph.
He was given the No 4 spot in the ODI line-up. For some time, he was considered the ideal batsman for the spot. But the emergence of Vijay Shankar and some poor team selection saw Rayudu lose his place in the squad for the 2019 World Cup.
When he was ignored twice after Shikhar Dhawan and Shankar got injured during the World Cup, he had enough and retired promptly from all forms of cricket. But later, he did a U-turn, saying he would like to play first-class cricket.
2) RP Singh
RP Singh debuted 9 months after Dhoni’s first ODI match. He was an instant hit with his accurate left-arm medium pace bowling. He spearheaded Indian bowling in limited-overs cricket for some time, before losing his pace and form.
He was part of Indian World T20-winning team in 2007. In the final against Pakistan, he took 3 wickets as India won the title round by just 5 runs. However, he was soon forgotten.
He was recalled to the Test team from nowhere for the fourth Test in the 2011 Test series in England. He went wicketless, conceding 118 runs in 34 overs.
He never played for India again. He retired from all forms of cricket in 2018. He is now seen doing commentary.
3) Imran Tahir
Tahir was born in Pakistan, but shifted to South Africa via the UK for the love of a woman. When he was finally eligible to play for South Africa, he was 32. He made his ODI debut for South Africa in the 2011 World Cup, and went on to play 100 ODIs, 38 T20Is, and 20 Tests, taking 287 international wickets.
He finally retired last year, after the 2019 World Cup. Co-incidentally, he played under MS Dhoni for CSK in the last two seasons. He is known for his wild celebration after taking every wicket.
Photo courtesy: MS Dhoni's FB page