NEW DELHI – Mahendra Singh Dhoni has resigned as India’s limited-overs captain ahead of the one-day series against England, which begins on 15 January.
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The wicketkeeper will, however, remain available for selection for the three-match series and the three subsequent Twenty20 internationals.
Dhoni, 35, had been India’s limited-overs captain since September 2007. Under his leadership, India won the 2007 World Twenty20, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy.
Test captain Virat Kohli – ranked second in the world’s ODI batting rankings – is the leading candidate to replace Dhoni.
Trying to think like #Dhoni. Kohli most likely 2019 World Cup captain, so best that he leads in the Champions Trophy so best he starts now.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 4, 2017
“The Indian team has touched new heights and his achievements will remain etched forever in the annals of Indian cricket,” said Rahul Johri, chief executive of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Dhoni led his country in 199 ODIs and 72 Twenty20 internationals, also taking charge of 60 Tests between 2008 and 2014, to hold the overall record for the most international matches as captain with 331.
In terms of victories, he is the most successful captain in all three formats in Indian cricket history.
He was put in charge of the India squad for the inaugural World T20 in South Africa in 2007, leading his side to a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in the final.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 5, 2017
Soon after the announcement on Wednesday night, tributes and farewell posts poured in on social media from all quarters. Politicians, cricketers and Bollywood celebrities wrote tributes for captain cool as soon as the news broke.
Sushant Singh Rajput, who played Dhoni on screen in Neeraj Pandey’s biopic on the cricketer, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, wrote a heartfelt tribute to Mahi, stating that there is no one like him.
— Sushant Singh Rajput (@itsSSR) January 4, 2017
— Sophie Choudry (@Sophie_Choudry) January 4, 2017
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) January 4, 2017
What a captain you’ve been @msdhoni! Will always remember you winning world cups almost single handedly.
— Irrfan (@irrfank) January 4, 2017
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) January 4, 2017
Dhoni conducted himself like a gentleman in a gentlemans game and set an unparalleled example to be followed. @msdhoni
— Salim Khan (@luvsalimkhan) January 5, 2017
MS Dhoni’s wife, Sakshi sent him an encouraging tweet, post the announcement.
@msdhoni There are no mountains high enough to stop you from climbing.Proud of you !! ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
— Sakshi Singh 🇮🇳❤️ (@SaakshiSRawat) January 4, 2017
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke and ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan, below, also paid tribute to Dhoni on social media.
I think @msdhoni will go down as one of India’s most successful captains. He is a great man and still has a lot to offer Indian cricket.
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) January 4, 2017
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 4, 2017