The disappointing results in Australia could have been the cause for MS Dhoni to take a call on his retirement early © Getty Images
The disappointing results in Australia could have been the cause for MS Dhoni to take a call on his retirement early © Getty Images

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s shocking retirement from Test cricket on Tuesday afternoon would certainly raise questions about its timing, but the fact that his absence from the field would be palpable cannot be ignored. Devarchit Varma says India will be a poorer without his experience ahead of the fourth Test in Sydney.

No farewell series, no emotional drama. MS Dhoni leaves Test cricket with his trademark calm and composed manner. However, the decision has certainly shocked the cricketing fraternity.  Perhaps it was the way Dhoni wanted to leave the Test arena — away from the razzmatazz of the media frenzy, jingoistic fans and deafening cheers and much more. Perhaps Dhoni would have wanted exactly that — and that’s the way he has lived his life in seclusion — away from the glitz and glamour like many of the top cricket stars in India do.

But Dhoni, for sure, wouldn’t have desired another away series defeat as captain, and he wouldn’t have accepted another overseas defeat which has for sometime become a norm with the Indian team, under his captaincy.

Dhoni has chosen to retire from Test cricket during a series, and critics, who do not want to acknowledge his achievements to an extent, would certainly pounce upon him, blaming him for deserting a huge pool of youngsters that India have in their ranks. After all, the experience that Dhoni had garnered as the team’s captain over the years would have been useful for this young side that is still maturing.

Dhoni wasn’t the smartest Test captain, he was only a street-smart cricketer who knew about the sport in depth and concentrated on the right areas. As a captain, he always laid emphasis on giving 100 per cent as individuals and try and learn from the mistakes, but many a times he was let down by his own men.

The time was certainly coming for Dhoni to call it a day from Test cricket. He wasn’t getting any younger and he hasn’t been the best in Test cricket. Indeed, he had shown immense application with the bat in England but never produced a big score in testing conditions. He would have decided to give another shot at it by travelling to Australia, but the disappointing results might have triggered his decision to end this right there and now.

India would not be playing Test cricket for a long time and perhaps it was wise for them to make a change somewhere during this long break, so that the world accepts his retirement and the change in the leadership. Virat Kohli will be taking over the charge, and the highly-admired 26-year-old has now one of the most high-profile jobs in the cricket world.

Dhoni walks away as one of India’s most admired and criticised captain. No other Indian skipper would have received flak from fans and supporters as much as Dhoni has, especially those who are on internet. He broke into the international circuit when the legendary figures of Indian cricket were still around. Dhoni would have surely passed on the learning to the new generation. But what one learns from experiences is certainly a different deal all together, and Team India would surely feel depleted in the absence of Dhoni.

Complete coverage of MS Dhoni’s Test retirement

(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)