Happy Birthday to MS Dhoni: Less than three years after his international debut, MS Dhoni was appointed captain of India in 2007 to lead the team to the inaugural T20 World Cup. From a flamboyant batsman to Captain Cool, Dhoni easily changed his role. In the years that followed, he took India to a number of milestones while astonishing opponents and fans on the cricket field.
Celebrating his 41st birthday today, here are some examples of Dhoni bowling his ideas to the world of cricket.
Joginder Sharma is bowling
The decision to throw the ball in the hands of Joginder Sharma in the last over of the 2007 T20 World Cup tops the list. With one over of veteran Harbhajan Singh left, Dhoni reassured Sharma that he would defend a 12-run stand against Misbah-ul-Haq.
Sharma started wide and then dot. Misbah added another legal delivery of the over to the stand. The match seemed to be slipping out of India’s hands but at the same time, Misbah gave an easy catch to S Sreesanth, who was standing on a short fine leg, in an attempt for a paddle shot.
Promoting himself in the 2011 World Cup final
After India’s third wicket loss of 114 runs in the 2011 World Cup final, it was time for Yuvraj Singh to move up to No. 5. However, left-hander Gautam Gambhir, already at the crease, decided to give Dhoni a boost. Himself, a decision that ultimately paid off.
Dhoni shared a match-winning partnership with Gambhir and scored an unbeaten 91 to help India win the World Cup after 28 years.
He is playing with Rohit Sharma as the opener in the ODIs
Rohit Sharma is a completely different player before and after 2013. Although Sharma has been playing international cricket since 2007, his persistence was a cause for concern until MS Dhoni was promoted to opener in the 2013 Champions Trophy. The opening pair of Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan created a storm in the tournament and India won the tournament.
Exclusion of senior players in the 2008 tri-series against Australia and Sri Lanka
Despite being a young captain, Dhoni has not been affected by the shadow of big players. Dhoni had a vision for his team and he never backed down from taking bold decisions to implement his plans.
Before the tri-series against Australia and Sri Lanka in 2008, the young Dhoni decided to drop seniors like Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. The decision initially raised eyebrows among experts as Ganguly and Dravid were one of the top batsmen in 50 overs cricket. Dhoni backed up his appeal and recorded India’s first-ever tri-series in Australia.
Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa bowling against Pakistan
The first match India played under MS Dhoni ended in a draw. The outcome of the match was to be decided by the bowl out. While Pakistan backed their regular bowlers to get the ball out, MS Dhoni along with Harbhajan Singh threw two amazing names like Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa. The Pakistani bowlers took wickets on all occasions while the Indian bowlers went on three consecutive strikes to seal the game.
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