MS Dhoni biopic reveals why he promoted himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh in 2011 World Cup final
MS Dhoni: The Untold Story has got off to a record-breaking start at the box office as the audience has lapped up the biopic about India's most successful captain, MS Dhoni. There were many major revelations in the movie, but arguably one of the biggest was the reason why Dhoni promoted himself above Yuvraj Singh in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede.
In the movie directed by Neeraj Pandey and starring Sushant Singh Rajput, the reason behind Dhoni’s promotion is revealed along with his conversation with Indian coach Gary Kirsten, prior to the Indian captain walking out to the crease.
Chasing 275 for victory, India lost both openers, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar early. Although Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir were batting well at the crease, the introduction of Muttiah Muralitharan into the attack in the 19th over prompted the Indian captain to go over to coach Gary Kirsten and tell him that he would be going in at the fall of the next wicket.
As Muralitharan came into the attack, Dhoni went over to Kirsten and spoke about going in next. Here is the transcript of the conversation from the movie:
MS Dhoni: Excuse me, Gary. If a wicket goes down, I think I should go in.
Gary Kirsten: But, Yuvi is padded up and ready.
MS Dhoni: No, it is Murali, I think I should go in.
Gary Kirsten: You sure?
MS Dhoni: Just, tell him (Yuvraj), I will go.
Although Dhoni wasn’t in great form until the final, having scored just 150 runs in eight matches and Yuvraj Singh, who had already sealed the Man of the Series award with his 341 runs and crucial wickets, was padded up and ready to go, the Indian captain walked in ahead of the southpaw at the fall of Kohli’s wicket.
With the score at 114 for three and the target still more than 150 runs away, Dhoni came in ahead of Yuvraj and the rest, as they say, is history. Dhoni smashed a 79-ball 91 and sealed India’s first World Cup in 28 years with a six.
Speaking about the incident to Cricket Country a few years ago, India’s mental conditioning coach during the victorious World Cup campaign, Paddy Upton said: “Dhoni’s choice to go ahead of Yuvi was nothing short of a masterstroke. An excellent example of his gut-feel for the game.
“Yuvi [Yuvraj] had delivered so many great performances. He possibly had used up a lot of his mental energy, and his energy tanks were near empty. Dhoni’s were still pretty full, and he is possibly the best in the world game for taking on the high pressure to close a critical game for his team,” he added.
Upton also spoke about the premonition he had of India lifting the World Cup again. “When he walked out to bat, I turned to Gary Kirsten and said, “He’s going to go and fetch the World Cup for us,” he said.