MS Dhoni has very often surprised everyone with his unique and brave decisions on and off the field. The 2011 World Cup-winning captain left the whole country in shock when he untimely retired from test cricket in 2014 and stepped down from limited-overs captaincy in 2017.
But today, we are going to discuss the top 5 memorable decisions the former Indian captain took, which proved to be master-strokes for Indian cricket.
5.Using Rohit Sharma as an opener
Rohit always showed glimpses of the potential he had, but it was Dhoni who turned his potential into performances by promoting him up the batting order. He started opening the innings in 2013 as he partnered with Shikhar Dhawan.
Rohit’s bat used to blow hot and cold on the cricket pitch, but when he has started opening the innings regularly, his average shot close to 57.
Rohit is currently the only cricketer who has hit three double centuries in ODIs and four centuries in T20Is. Hence, MS Dhoni’s masterstroke gave India one of the best opening batsmen of all time.
4. Persisting with Virat Kohli in Tests
Virat had a horrible run during the initial phase of the 2012 Australia tour. He didn’t have a great England tour either in 2011, where India was whitewashed 4-0 by the home side. After not performing well in three test matches in Australia, discussions about Rohit Sharma getting a chance were there.
But Dhoni persisted, and Kohli responded with a hundred in the next game in Adelaide. Undoubtedly, without Dhoni’s support, Virat may not have been such a successful cricketer today.
3. Showing faith in Joginder Sharma
The match between India and Pakistan at the inaugural World T20 Final was evenly poised as the match went down to the last over. Pakistan needed 13 runs to win with the in-form Misbah-ul-Haque on strike. As an average cricket expert, one might have expected the experienced Harbhajan Singh to bowl the final over, but MS had different plans.
A young Joginder Sharma got the ball, and the plan worked wonders for India as the rookie dismissed Misbah to secure the win for India. India became the champions of the world as they lifted the World T20 trophy for the first time. That was the first of many instances where Dhoni’s master-stroke took Indian cricket to new heights.
2. Supporting Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh was struggling with the bat leading into the 2011 World Cup. Mahi knew what Yuvraj could do in a pressure tournament like the World Cup and thus, couldn’t afford to leave him out. He started growing Yuvraj’s confidence as a bowler and utilized him as the fifth bowler.
Yuvraj outperformed everyone’s expectations as he went on to win the Man of the Tournament award. He was the key to India’s success in the world cup. His most memorable knock came against Australia in the quarter-finals, which helped India overcome the Aussies to ensure a place in the semi-finals.
1. Promoting himself in the 2011 World Cup Final
India was 114-3 in a chase of 275 in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka. Kohli had just got out, and the crowd anticipated Yuvraj Singh to come to the crease. But MS Dhoni took on the responsibility and came out to bat, and the rest is history.
With both Sri Lankan off-spinners bowling in tandem, Dhoni decided to go ahead of Yuvi. Dhoni didn’t have a great tournament with the bat before the game, but the captain stood upon the most important night of his career and scored an unbeaten 91 runs to lead India to the victory. He finished the match with a memorable six and won the Man of the Match award for his heroics.