How MS Dhoni's captaincy was more influential in World T20 2007 than World Cup 2011
It was the inaugural tournament of T20 format at the world stage. The format was new and India had played only a solitary T20I before that.
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni has retired from international cricket recently. Nasser Hussain termed him ‘the greatest limited-overs captain ever’, Sachin Tendulkar termed him ‘the best captain he has played under’. The love and respect earned by the wicket-keeper batsman in his 16 years career are extraordinary. He will always be known as the first captain to win all the ICC events.
When we think about Dhoni the first picture in our mind perpetually comes of him hitting that monstrous six over the cow corner in the Wankhede stadium on 2nd April 2011. His 91* against Sri Lanka in the final made India the World Champion again after a gap of 28 years. But his first trophy as a captain was World T20 2007, which is always overpowered.
It was the inaugural tournament of T20 format at the world stage. The format was new and India had played only a solitary T20I before that. Yet that win is never deemed as special as 2011 World Cup.
With due respect to the biggest cricketing event, 50 over World Cup, let’s have look how Dhoni’s captaincy was more influential in World T20 2007 than World Cup 2011:
1. New Format, New players
The T20 Internationals came into the picture for the first time in 2005. However, India played their first game in December 2006 when they played South Africa in its own backyard. When the World T20 was around the corner, Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly pulled out of the extravaganza as they wanted to give chance to the youngsters. Mahi was given the captaincy for his considerable knowledge of the game. The team had all the youngsters and few experienced players who were making their comeback.
The average age of the squad was 23 years. Some even said that India is sending a ‘B’ team for the inaugural tournament. But when the tournament started the game seem different. Dhoni was playing like a leader, the team had accepted him as a captain quite naturally. He made quite a good mixture of players with 5 batters, 4 bowlers and 1 bowling all-rounder with him as a keeper. It actually didn’t look like the Ranchi lad was leading a team which has zero experience for the latest form of cricket.
If we see the squad for the 2011 World Cup, the team was quite refined. Apart from a few faces, all had an experience of more than 5-6 years of international cricket. The average age of the squad was 27 years. There was not much for the stumper to do there, the team was already balanced and everyone knew their role perfectly.
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