MS Dhoni reveals why he was chosen as India's captain in 2007
The former skipper opens up on his ascent to captaincy ten years ago.
What's the story?
Veteran MS Dhoni has explained why he was selected as India's captain over other prospective candidates during 2007. Acknowledging the role played by senior players in backing him for the coveted position, the former skipper also insisted that his match awareness as well as easy-going nature were instrumental in him securing the honour of leading the Indian team.
When ThePrint asked him on his ascent to captaincy ten years ago, Dhoni quipped, "That is again a very difficult one because a lot of senior players would have supported me. I was not part of the conversation when I was made captain of the team. I feel that looking at everything, maybe it was the honesty that I had and my ability to read the game."
He added, "Reading the game is very important, and even though I was one of the youngest in the team at that point of time - when asked about my views by a senior player - I was not afraid or hesitant to share my feelings about the game. It probably also had to do with the fact that I was quite good with the other team members in the squad at that point of time."
With accomplished legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly ruling themselves out of contention for the inaugural edition of World T20 in 2007, the Indian think tank pulled off a major surprise by handing over the captaincy to the then 26-year old Dhoni.
The heart of the matter
Even though there were quite a few senior stars like Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh ready to take up leadership duties, Dhoni was appointed as captain of what was a pretty inexperienced squad for the 2007 World T20 in South Africa. According to numerous reports covering the episode, Tendulkar played a key role in convincing the Indian selectors of the wicket-keeper batsman's leadership skills.
Tendulkar's recommendation stemmed from his numerous on-field conversations with the gloveman on various tactics and strategies. Dhoni would divulge that he had even disagreed with the legendary batsman's assessment of a few occasions.
After leading India to an euphoric triumph in the 2007 World T20, Dhoni succeeded Rahul Dravid as the team's ODI captain. Eventually, when Anil Kumble called it quits, the wicket-keeper batsman gained the Test mantle as well to become India's skipper across all three formats of the game. The rest, as they say, is history.
At 36, Dhoni's trademark hand-eye coordination as well as remarkable reflexes appear to be diminishing rapidly. Despite his dwindling returns, captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri continue to back the stalwart. The seasoned campaigner will return to action during the first ODI between India and Sri Lanka at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on December 10.
Both Tendulkar as well as the Indian think tank deserve credit for their respective roles in propelling Dhoni to the captaincy throne. The gloveman's confident demeanour and ability to decode the different situations in a game were vital to his extremely productie reign as India's captain across multiple formats.