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5 cricketers who owe their careers to MS Dhoni

Umaima Saeed
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MS Dhoni resigned as the ODI and T20 captain on Wednesday

Mahendra Singh Dhoni never ceases to surprise. On and off the park. Twenty-five months after sending the nation into a state of mourning – after he suddenly decided to quit Test cricket – India’s most successful captain has chosen to step down as the ODI and T20 skipper.

The number of trophies he won for India, the number of almost-lost matches he turned on their heads, all aside. It is the revolution that the country needs to thank MSD the most for. Behind the curtains, it was Dhoni who completely transformed India’s limited-overs-cricket.

He made unpopular calls and stuck by them, no matter the consequences. He played gambles nobody else would have. And the end result? Three ICC trophies.

Dhoni was a distinct captain. A distinct identity.

When he had to make the most of the limited resources at his disposal, Dhoni was unparalleled. He made sure the newcomers got enough opportunities and recognition amid the clamour for the beloved stars. 

Here are 5 present Indian cricketers who would not have cemented a place in the Indian National Team if not for MS Dhoni.

#5 Rohit Sharma

Before 2013, Rohit Sharma’s ODI stats read very poorly

The year 2013 stands witness to the glorious transition story of India opener Rohit Sharma. In ODIs, before 2013, Rohit averaged 30.43 per innings. Towards the end of 2013, Rohit Sharma was the second highest run scorer in the world in that calendar year. He turned into a one-day monster, literally.

At the start of 2013, Rohit, after a long period of slump, got another shot at opening the batting, and that opportunity completely changed his ODI batting numbers. From an underperforming player who was constantly confounding critics with his inconsistency, the Mumbai batsman transformed into a remarkably prolific batsman.

And the mastermind Dhoni played a role in that. It needed a man of Dhoni’s character to silently back Rohit even after a string of poor performances. The 29-year-old was asked to open the innings in January 2013 against England in Mohali in which he smashed 83 off 93 balls.

And this, right after a disastrous trip to Sri Lanka where he managed only 13 runs in five games. And Sharma further justified Dhoni’s faith in him by his scores in the Champions Trophy in the same year. Since then, apart from a recent slump in 2016, Sharma hasn’t looked back.

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Umaima Saeed
Front seat at the HPCA, Himalayan peaks around, India-Pakistan on the ground, chicken momos in my mouth - my kind of ideal.
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