5 decisions taken by MS Dhoni which defined the roadmap of Indian cricket
MS Dhoni has been one of the best leaders in the history of the game. He debuted in 2004 and soon enhanced his reputation as a hard hitting batsman.
When he was given the leadership in 2007 on Tendulkar's recommendation, many had raised their eyebrows, asserting he wouldn't be a long term option. But the way he led the team in the World T20 2007 with calmness by making some decisive decisions, convinced everyone that the selectors had got their call right.
Dhoni has led with distinction and holds the world record of captaining India in 332 International matches which includes 60 Tests, 200 ODIs and 72 T20s. He is also the most successful Indian captain in Tests with 27 wins and in ODIs with 110 wins. Dhoni has also been the only leader to win all the 3 major ICC tournaments to go with 3 IPLs, 2 CL T20s and 2 Asia Cups.
When you captain a side for almost 10 years, you take some crucial decisions and you make many careers along the way. Dhoni has been at the helm of this transformation where he led the team in two different eras. In one era, he led a team filled with legends and the second era of his captaincy had some exuberant youngsters who were finding their feet in international cricket.
Lets take a look at some of the decisions taken by Dhoni which defined the roadmap of Indian cricket.
#1 Not fiddling with Tendulkar's opening slot
When Sourav Ganguly captained India in early 2000s, he made Sachin bat at number 4 to accommodate Sehwag at the top of the order. India had partial success with this combination. Sachin was not the same player at number 4 as he could not dictate terms at the top of the order. He came back to play at the top in the 2003 cricket World Cup and had astounding success.
This scenario repeated under the leadership of Rahul Dravid in late 2006 before the World Cup, when Sachin was again asked to bat at 4 on the insistence of Greg Chappell. India had a terrible run at the 2007 World Cup and Sachin scored a solitary fifty against Bermuda.
When Dhoni took over the captaincy, he ensured that Sachin always stayed at the top and he was never made to move around in the batting order. Gambhir being an opener was asked to bat at 3 and Sachin with the company of Virender Sehwag forged a formidable partnership at the top of the order.
Sachin played some of his best cricket during this phase from 2007 to 2011. He started with a couple of match winning knocks, scoring 117 and 95 versus Australia in the CB series finals in 2008. Sachin scored another mach winning 138 versus Sri Lanka in the Celkon Cup final in 2009. He made scores of 163, 175 and became the first man to score 200 in ODIs. He became the most successful Indian batsman in World Cup 2011 by scoring 482 runs with a couple of centuries and two fifties.