Former India captain MS Dhoni made his debut against Bangladesh on this day, 16 years ago. And it was in September 2007 that he was appointed captain for the first time, to lead India in the inaugural edition of the World T20. Dhoni was confident of emerging triumphant at that moment itself, according to former selector Sanjay Jagdale.
In an exclusive interview with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda’s Facebook page, Sanjay Jagdale revealed the fabled trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly had requested the selectors not to pick them for the shortest format. The senior selection committee, under Dilip Vengsarkar, then elevated MS Dhoni to the prestigious role.
“This was 2007 and I was a selector. And I was with the Indian team in England, and we were having a one-day series. Dilip [Vengsarkar] was chairman...and we had a meeting for selecting the World Cup 2007 team," he revealed.
"So Sachin, Sourav and Rahul had told us, ‘Don’t consider us.’ So we picked a new team, a very young team. And I was in London, I had given my opinion, and Dhoni became captain for the first time,” Jagdale said.
India, on September 8, 2007, lost the decider of the seven-match ODI series against England. Before flying out to South Africa for the showpiece event starting September 11, Jagdale was discussing the new-look Indian T20 side with MS Dhoni. The former selector has now revealed the then 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman sounded confident of winning the tournament.
“So after the seventh one day was over, I still recollect in the dressing room I told MS, ‘This is a good team.’ And he said, ‘Sir, World Cup jeetke ayenge (Sir, we will come back with the World Cup).’ I was shocked just seeing the confidence,” Jagdale, who represented Central Zone in the senior selection committee from 2000 to 2007, exclaimed.
India went on to make history. They defeated Pakistan by 5 runs in the final and were crowned winners of the the first-ever T20 World Cup.
MS Dhoni grabbed eyeballs in Siliguri
MS Dhoni had a scratchy start to his international career. Before his epic 148 against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam, his scores read 0, 12, 7* and 3. But his technique to had caught everyone’s eye from a young age, the glimpses of which a wider audience saw when MS Dhoni smashed 362 runs at an average of 72.4 during India A’s tour of Kenya in 2004.
But it was Sanjay Jagdale and then chairman of selectors Syed Kirmani who picked MS Dhoni for the tour after seeing him bat live in a Deodhar Trophy match in Siliguri.
“I still recollect Pranab Roy, who was the selector from East Zone, once told me, ‘Sanjay, there is a boy from Bihar, very unorthodox. You must go and see him.’ So I still recollect [Syed] Kirmani was the chairman.
"This is 2002-03, and myself and Kirmani went to Siliguri just to have a look at Dhoni. There was a Deodhar Trophy match and MS scored 40 odd runs and then we sent him to Kenya,” Jagdale stated.
And it proved to be a masterstroke. Along with scoring 17,266 runs in 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is, MS Dhoni became the first and only captain to win three ICC trophies – World T20 in 2007, World Cup in 2011 and Champions Trophy in 2013.
Published 23 Dec 2020, 14:44 IST