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5 Players MS Dhoni never used in the XI despite being in the squad

In fact, Dhoni often tends to go in with an unchanged side and doesn’t like to tinker a lot.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the captain of the Indian team for almost a decade. He led in as many as 332 games and lifted every single ICC trophy during his captaincy tenure. Thus, he will go down as one of the most successful captains in world cricket. The former Indian skipper continues to lead the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL and is one of the most successful captains in that tournament as well.

One of the standout qualities that Dhoni had was that he backed his players to the tilt. He gave them a certain number of games and backed them to succeed. The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja are some of the examples.

However, there have been players who have been in the squad but haven’t been utilized. In fact, Dhoni often tends to go in with an unchanged side and doesn’t like to tinker a lot. Hence, here we look at five players who were in the squad but were never used by Dhoni in the playing XI.

1. Ishwar Pandey (ODIs and Tests)

Ishwar Pandey
Ishwar Pandey. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)

Ishwar Pandey may be just 29 years old at the moment but he hasn’t been anywhere in and around Indian cricket. Neither has he made any noise in domestic cricket in the last few years. He has been constantly playing for Madhya Pradesh but has been lackluster.

However, the tall pacer was knocking on the selectors’ door for quite some time in the early 2010s. He did well in the IPL for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and also in domestic cricket. Pandey was the highest wicket-taker in the 2012-13 Ranji season. He followed it up with consistent performances for India ‘A’ as well.

Thus, he was rewarded with a spot in the Indian team that traveled to New Zealand in early 2014. He even played a couple of tour games but could never make it to the XI. Be it ODI cricket or Test cricket, Pandey never featured in the XI under MS Dhoni. He was also picked for the Asia Cup after that series but it wasn’t under Dhoni.

Moreover, he never played a single game in that series as well. Thus, Pandey never played an international game despite being in the squad for two tours.

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