“He is your future captain” - When Greg Chappell made an accurate prediction about MS Dhoni

Former India coach Greg Chappell with MS Dhoni
Former India coach Greg Chappell with MS Dhoni
Renin Wilben Albert

Former national selector Sanjay Jagdale has revealed that Greg Chappell had predicted MS Dhoni becoming future India captain during the team’s disastrous 2007 World Cup outing in West Indies.

Chappell was the coach of the Indian team, which was led by Rahul Dravid, during the 2007 World Cup. India were knocked out of the tournament in the first round, following losses to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Speaking to News18, Jagdale said that an incident during the match against Sri Lanka at Port of Spain led Chappell to conclude that Dhoni is future captain material. Giving details of the incident, the former selector said:

“I was the selector and manager. And, I was watching the match with the coach Greg Chappell. Dhoni was padded up and sitting on the staircase. When Muttiah Muralitharan began to bowl round the wicket, I just mentioned to Greg if his ‘doosra’ will be effective bowling from round the wicket. Dhoni told me in Hindi; “Sir, mai aapko yahan se bata doonga, about his doosra (I will tell you from here). And Dhoni explained.”

Jagdale added that when Dhoni went in to bat, Chappell asked him about his conversation with the wicketkeeper-batter.

“I told him about the conversation between me and Dhoni and immediately Greg told me: “Sanjay, he (Dhoni) is your future captain. And he did become the India captain with Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly withdrawing from the Twenty20 World Cup. I will never forget this incident,” Jagdale further revealed.

Ironically, Dhoni perished first-ball to Muralitharan, trapped in front of the stumps by one that hurried on to him. Four years later, though, Dhoni dominated the same bowler as India lifted the World Cup at home.

Dhoni has an excellent rapport with Virat: Sanjay Jagdale

Jagdale was part of the selection committee that named Dhoni as captain for the T20 World Cup in 2007. Asked about India’s decision to appoint Dhoni as a mentor for the upcoming T20 World Cup, he replied that the former captain will add value to the team with his experience and knowledge.

He also asserted that there will be no issues between Dhoni and skipper Kohli. Stating that the two share an excellent rapport, Jagdale recalled an incident from a match against Australia in Nagpur in 2019.

“This was before the World Cup in England. I was watching the match from a position that was behind long off and by the side of the sight screen. We were ten of us from Indore in the gallery. That was my first international match in three or four years.
“Marcus Stoinis was batting brilliantly and Virat was fielding at long-off, just in front of us. And I could hear Dhoni shouting Chiku (Virat’s nickname) and asking him to shift 15 to 20 feet towards extra cover. This was a remarkable incident with Dhoni asking the India captain (Virat) to move. Virat had no issues with it. He just moved. This is the respect and rapport they have. Even before Dhoni became the captain, all players had a good equation with Dhoni. I even explained to my friends about what happened on the field and the respect the players have for Dhoni,” Jagdale concluded.
"Just like what Ms Dhoni did, Virat too will like to play the same role and help the new Captain. And He will be more determined and focused to win the T20 World Cup as he will want to leave India's T20 Captaincy on a High." - Virat Kohli Childhood coach (To ANI)

Dhoni was the captain during the previous T20 World Cup in India in 2016. The hosts were knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual champions West Indies.

Edited by Prem Deshpande


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