On this day in 2018: When MS Dhoni led India for one last time

Arguably the greatest captain in the world, MS Dhoni bid adieu to his international career on August 15 this year. Millions of cricket fans around the world saw themselves in a pool of misery and shock when their most loved captain broke the news through a simple Instagram post.

Congratulations and good wishes started pouring endlessly, and people are remembering their best moments with him to date. The heartbreaking semi-final of the 2019 World Cup saw MS Dhoni‘s last international outing. Fans and cricketers around the world are looking forward to his farewell match.

On this day

On September 25 2018, Captain Cool MS Dhoni led the Men in Blue for the last time in an ODI. It was in an Asia Cup game against Afghanistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Winning the toss, the opponents invited India to bowl first. It was opener Mohammad Shahzad who wrecked all the havoc with a splendid knock of 124 off 116 balls. Mohammad Nabi too made a significant contribution to the match by producing a 56-ball 64. The duo pushed their limits to post a respectable 252.

None of the Indian bowlers could get the opponents in their trap. The duo of Kedar Jadhav and Kuldeep Yadav remained economical, but even they couldn’t get the desired success. Now MS Dhoni was leading the team with a lot of setbacks as many big names were not part of the tournament. Virat Kohli wasn’t part of the tournament and Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were rested for the match.

How a young Indian side responded

The young team led by MSD started well, with both openers setting the stage on fire. KL Rahul (60 off 66) and Ambati Rayudu (57 off 49) showed that the game was in India’s account, and they stood strong on 110 for no loss. As soon as the team was one wicket down, the players came and went in no time. The trio of Aftab Alam, Mohammad Nabi, and Rashid Khan was beating the men in front too well.

Dinesh Karthik provided some base with a knock of 44, but even that could not fetch the desired result in the required time. Jadeja was at the crease, and all eyes were on him to get the team over the line, but even he couldn’t bring success. Star spinner Rashid Khan knocked him out on the second-last ball of the game when the scores were level. The Indian team got bundled out on 252, and the match ended in a dramatic tie where Afghanistan’s performance was laudable in all aspects.

Nobody expected the match to end in a tie. On the other hand, the team effort of Afghanistan invited appreciation from all over the world. Shahzad was adjudged the Man of the Match award that day. In the post-match presentation, MS Dhoni who led the Men in Blue for the last time that day stated that ‘Afghanistan cricket has improved a lot.’

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