Mahendra Singh Dhoni took over the captaincy of the Indian cricket team at a very crucial time. Men in Blue were humiliated in the 2007 World Cup after being knocked out in the group stage, questions were being raised over the place of senior players and amid this chaos, the selectors appointed Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the captain of the Indian team. Mahi, as he is fondly called, was given a relatively young squad for the 2007 T20I World Cup and the rest is history. A decade later, Dhoni has finally opened up why he was given this leadership role at the young age of 26. Interestingly, Dhoni wasn’t even the part of the meeting where the decision was taken.
“I feel that looking at everything, maybe it was the honesty that I had, and my ability to read the game. 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,” Dhoni told The Print in a recent interview. Dhoni added that the decision had to do a lot with the fact that he was quite good with the other team members in the squad at that point in time.
MS Dhoni led India in 199 ODIs (73 at home out of which India won 43) winning 110 out of them. It was the golden era of Indian cricket where it achieved new heights. In his captaincy, India won top three ICC tournaments namely ICC World Cup (2011), ICC World T20 (2007) and ICC Champions Trophy (2013). He also took India to the helm of ICC Test rankings.
However, the former Indian captain has been under fire lately for his under-par performances. Dhoni got support from captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri recently. Both these men lashed out at Dhoni’s critics. Even former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly praised the way Virat Kohli came out in support of Dhoni. “He (Kohli) is a fantastic captain. I don’t know what he does inside dressing room or what he does tactically, as I’m too far away (from the team). I don’t know what he speaks in team meetings but the way he looks after his players is remarkable,” Ganguly said during a book launch on Thursday.
“I keep saying about MS Dhoni and what I see of Virat on MS is fantastic. A champion player (Dhoni) who’s probably on his last leg of his career and Virat coming and saying that he’s my man and I want him to play. You just change a player,” he added.