MS Dhoni, the former Indian skipper, is regarded as one of the best skippers around the world, having won all the three ICC trophies. Under his leadership, team India touched many milestones and became the number 1 cricket team.
The reason that Dhoni was so successful was because of his calm temperament and ability to make brilliant decisions in the middle when the going got tough. However, there are a few reasons that stand out.
Here, we bring you a list of 5 instances when MS Dhoni outsmarted his opponents with his brilliant planning. Have a look:
1. Giving Joginder Sharma that last over:
During the last over of the ICC World Cup T20 Final in the year 2007, Harbhajan Singh had one over left but MS Dhoni decided to give the opportunity to Joginder Sharma and the rest is history. Misbah-ul-Haq was at the crease and had already smashed three sixes off Harbhajan Singh in the 17th over. The first ball of Joginder Sharma’s over was a dot, which was followed by a six. However, MS Dhoni’s decision of giving Joginder a chance worked wonders for team India as Misbah was dismissed in the next ball.
2. Dropping Sourav Ganguly-Rahul Dravid from ODIs:
Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid are regarded as the two strongest pillars of the Indian cricket team. It was in the year 2008 when MS Dhoni took a bold decision and decided to drop these two legendary cricketers from the Indian cricket team for Tri-series in Australia involving Sri Lanka. When asked about the same to then BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah had said: ‘the emphasis was on fielding abilities and chief selectors and team management wanted a young fielding side for the tour’.
However, the change worked in favor of the Indian cricket team as it resulted in team India being regarded as one of the best fielding sides in the world.
3. Promoting himself to number 5 in World Cup 2011 final:
The one decision that made Dhoni a bonafide legend”: Promoting himself up the order in the World Cup Final versus Sri Lanka in 2011. The Lankans put up a formidable 274 on the board – a score no one had ever chased in a final and India found themselves reeling at 114-3.
Everyone expected the in-form Yuvraj Singh who was having a fantastic tournament (He went on to win the best player) to come and take a strike. Instead, it was Dhoni who headed out. Dhoni had an average tournament up until then and the whole world was surprised. He patched a superb partnership with the brilliant Gautam Gambhir, who perished at an agonizing 97 runs – three runs short of a memorable century.
Dhoni then proved to be one of the best finishers in the game and batted with Yuvraj Singh till the end. He finished the game with a huge six that will forever remain in the memory of Indian cricket fans and put him down as one of the most unorthodox captains to have played the game.
4. Promoting Rohit Sharma as an opener:
Rohit Sharma, who is regarded as one of the most destructive cricketers in team India, however, not many are aware that it was MS Dhoni, who backed Rohit Sharma. It was in the year 2013 when MS Dhoni changed the fortunes of an inconsistent cricketer, who was struggling to make his space in the Indian cricket team.
Rohit Sharma was a part of the Indian set-up since 2007 but he wasn’t able to put on consistent performances. However, MS Dhoni showed faith in him and gave him a chance to open the innings in 2011 during South Africa’s tour but Rohit failed to give the best of his abilities and could only score 29 runs in three innings he played.
In January 2013, MS Dhoni gave another chance to Rohit to shine at the top against England, and this time, Rohit didn’t fail Dhoni and he mustered up 83 runs in Mohali and has never looked back since.
5. Rotating Tendulkar/ Sehwag/ Gambhir in CB series 2012/13:
One of the boldest decisions taken by MS Dhoni was to rotate the legendary trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Gautam Gambhir, during the 2012 CB tri-series in Australia. Despite having an impeccable record, the trio didn’t feature together through the course of the series as Dhoni kept rotating between them. Team India ended up losing the final and MS Dhoni had to face a lot of backlash because of the same. However, this decision of him helped them in creating a stronger team India that we see today.