5 Players MS Dhoni backed at times when no other captain would have
It was not just talent but the backing of skipper Dhoni that helped these players realize their true potential at the highest level.
Updated - Mar 15, 2020 4:13 pm
There is absolutely no doubt that MS Dhoni will go down as one of the greatest international captains of all-time. No other captain has won all three ICC titles (T20 World Cup, 50-overs World Cup and Champions Trophy). He also holds the record for being the most capped international captain (332 games across all three formats). The Ranchi born player captained India for almost a decade before handing over the reins to Virat Kohli.
Dhoni was an astute captain and a mastermind behind the stumps. While his batting and wicket-keeping skills are exemplary, it is no secret that Dhoni is one of the best minds to have played the game. Thus, there were multiple instances where Dhoni, the captain stood out and changed the complexion of a particular game series or a player’s career upside down.
Based on his instinct, ideas and beliefs, he backed ceratin players where probably no other captain would have. Hence, here we look at five such players who had the luxury of Dhoni’s backing in dire situations and they passed with flying colours.
1. Joginder Sharma:
Whenever we talk about MS Dhoni’s captaincy and his masterstrokes, Joginder Sharma always gets a mention. The Haryana-born played just eight international games (four ODIs and four T20Is) but he was a vital part in a historical moment in Indian cricket. After the 2007 World Cup debacle, the senior pros opted not to play the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. Mahendra Singh Dhoni had a very young squad at his disposal and Joginder Sharma turned out to be a key part of their plans.
The right-arm medium pacer only got into the plans towards the back end of the tournament. India played some wonderful cricket to reach the final. In the summit clash at Johannesburg, India were in pole position but Mishab-ul-Haq was taking the game away from the ‘Men in Blue’. With just 13 runs required off the last over, Dhoni had two options. He could either go with the experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh or take the gamble and bowl medium pacer, Joginder.
Dhoni went with the latter and the rest is history. The medium-pacer bowled a wide and conceded a six before getting Mishab out caught at short fine-leg. The gamble paid off and India were crowned as champions.