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Will Sunday be Dhoni’s last bow at the ‘hallowed’ Wankhede?


Team India immortalized the

Wankhede Stadium

in 2011 when then-skipper MS Dhoni hit a six to signal India’s triumph in the ODI World Cup, beating Sri Lanka in the final, to become the 50-over champions for the second time. Fourteen years from that day, on April 14, Dhoni, who is in all likelihood playing his last Indian Premier League (IPL) season, could be gracing the hallowed turf in Mumbai for the last time as a player.
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are in Mumbai for their IPL match against the fellow five-time champions Mumbai Indians on Sunday, and the spotlight is set to be on the 42-year-old Dhoni, who has already relinquished CSK captaincy to drop a hint that this could be his final bow in the cash-rich league.

At the start of the ongoing season, Dhoni handed over the captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad. However, he continues to be the guiding force for the team and its new leader.

Despite being in his 40s, Dhoni, who is the only Indian captain to win all ICC titles, remains an ageless wonder, highlighted by his crafty glovework behind the stumps and blistering strokes with the bat.
In his first outing with the bat this season in the match against Delhi Capitals, the legend hammered DC bowlers during his 16-ball knock that produced 37 runs, including 3 sixes and 4 fours.

In the same match, he achieved the milestone of becoming the first wicketkeeper to claim 300 dismissals in T20 history.
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A possible last Wankhede bow on Sunday remains one of the emotions attached to the game. The special place that the stadium holds for Indian cricket and Dhoni is also evident in the fact that the Mumbai Cricket Association decided to give a special status to the two seats where Dhoni’s 2011 World Cup-winning six landed.

With the playoffs this season awarded to Ahmedabad and Chennai, this could actually be the last time that Dhoni could be seen plying his trade at the Wankhede Stadium.

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