Top 5 boldest moves by MS Dhoni as skipper
Indian cricket fans were left mourning as one of India’s shrewdest skippers, MS Dhoni, bid goodbye to captaincy in ODI and T20I formats yesterday. ‘Captain Cool’ as he was known, has been a crowd favourite ever since he stepped into the Indian team as a wild slogger with long mane.
When Dhoni was made skipper in 2007, Indians were suspect about how he would fare as skipper. He soon put an end to all speculation by returning with a World Cup in 2007 from the inaugural T20I World Cup in South Africa.
He added several other coveted trophies to his collection and became a mature, confident captain who earned the respect of his troops. Much akin to the army, to which he has a special liking, the lower order finisher lead the nation with purpose and bravado.
His techniques and decisions have trumped critics around the world, who took aim at him for his unorthodox methods. However, more often than not they succumbed to his shrewd judgement and instincts. Such was the prowess of this wicket-keeper that he powered his way through the dry domestic structure in India to stand at the helm of Indian cricket.
Here is a look at some bold decisions taken by MS Dhoni that surprised fans and critics alike, but paid rich dividends.
#5 The move to give Joginder Sharma the final over in the 2007 T20 World Cup
This was the first of his unorthodox moves that the world would come to witness a lot many times over his career. His tactical brilliance had seen an understrength India surge to the finals of the tournament and with their opponents being their arch rivals, Pakistan, a loss would not have gone down well with fans back home.
The match had a nail biting finish as Misbah-ul-Haq took Pakistan to the verge of victory with 13 needed off the final over of the game. Dhoni was expected to give the ball to his senior spinner, Harbhajan Singh, who had an over left.
But he stunned the world by handing over the responsibility to Joginder Sharma, a medium pacer, who did not have the pace or skill to trouble batsmen in this format. Harbhajan had been a touch on the expensive side and Misbah was a slogger who could deposit spinners out of the stadium. This may have prompted the move from Dhoni.
Misbah took full toll of Joginder by smacking a huge six off him off a wide full toss. He continued bowling a wide line at the instruction of Dhoni and an impatient Misbah tried to play a scoop which ended up safely in the hands of fine-leg, sparking off wild celebrations in the Indian camp.
Joginder Sharma later revealed that Dhoni had told him he would take complete responsibility if India lost the game. Who wouldn't love such a captain?