Sachin Tendulkar was decided to be made as the Indian skipper in 2007.He recommended then long-locked wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the rest was history. Following the tumultuos 2007 World Cup debacle, Rahul Dravid wanted to give up captaincy and focus on batting.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were in trouble when Tendulkar refused the role.The team comprised of youngsters then.
The batting legend with his astute observation had dentified a potential skipper in the team. When former BCCI president Sharad Pawar approached Tendulkar, he had no doubts about the name in his mind.Sharad Pawar, while addressing a public meeting on Sunday, revealed that Tit was Tendulkar who suggested MS Dhoni’s name for India’s limited-overs captaincy in 2007 when Rahul Dravid wanted to relinquish.
“I remember India had gone to England in 2007. At that time, Rahul Dravid was the captain. I was there in England then and Dravid came to meet me. He told me how he no longer wanted to lead India. He told me how the captaincy was affecting his batting. He told me that he should be relieved from the captaincy. I then asked Sachin Tendulkar to lead the side, but he refused the role,” Pawar said.
“I told Sachin that if both of you and Dravid do not want to lead the side, how will we go about things? Then Sachin told me about another player in the country who could lead the side and his name is none other than MS Dhoni. After that, we gave the leadership to Dhoni,” he added.
MS Dhoni took over the reins for the first time in South Africa at the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007. India, under the then young captain, went on to claim the world title, beating the South Africa, Australia ,England and Pakistan en route to the final. In a timeless final match, India defeated a fighting Pakistan in a nail-biting thriller to win the World Cup.Dhoni’s out of the box decison to bowl Joginder Sharma in the last over paid off.
SInce then MS Dhoni had been one of the most successful captains in limited-overs cricket. Under Dhoni, India beat Australia in 2008, won the 2011 World Cup at home, the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. Dhoni became India’s Test captain in 2008 and led India to the No. 1 spot on ICC Test Rankings.
Dhoni and his calm demeanour and his calculated risks led India to a series of victories. Dhoni captained India in 200 ODIs out of the 350 he played and led India in 60 Tests and 72 T20Is.Dhoni retired from Test cricket in 2014. The former India skipper relinquished limited-overs captaincy in 2017 and continued playing under Virat Kohli till 2019. He announced his retirement from international cricket on social media in the night of August 15, 2020