While the fans are celebrating 16 years of MS Dhoni in the international arena, Sanjay Jagdale, a former member of the selection committee, reveals how the long-haired wicket-keeper batsman was appointed as the captain of the national team ahead of the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa. Jagdale also sheds light on the confidence of the then 26-year-old talisman.
Dhoni, having made his ODI debut on 23rd December 2004 in Bangladesh, won an unparalleled three ICC trophies – 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 ODI World Cup, and the 2013 Champions Trophy – along with taking the Indian Test team to the top of the ICC rankings. Add to it, three IPL titles and two Champions League titles as well.
We picked a young team after some senior players pulled out: Sanjay Jagdale
Sanjay Jagdale while speaking to Sportskeeda disclosed that three senior players – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Sourav Ganguly – had opted out from the T20 World Cup. Hence, the Dilip Vengsarkar-led committee named MS Dhoni as the new skipper of the team.
“This was 2007 and I was a selector. And I was with the Indian team in England, and we were having a one-day series. Dilip [Vengsarkar] was chairman and we had a meeting for selecting the World Cup 2007 team. So Sachin, Sourav, and Rahul had told us, ‘Don’t consider us.’ So we picked a new team, a very young team. And I was in London, I had given my opinion, and Dhoni became captain for the first time,” Sanjay Jagdale told Sportskeeda.
Jagdale, who represented Central Zone in the senior selection committee, revealed that in a candid chat with the newly appointed skipper, he asked Dhoni whether it was a good team. To Jagdale’s surprise, MS Dhoni confidently replied that they will win the World Cup.
Next, the Ranchi lad created history. He gave the last over to Joginder Sharma over the experienced Harbhajan Singh, and as Sreesanth took the catch off a mistimed scoop from Misbah-ul-Haq, India won the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup beating Pakistan in the final by 5 runs.
“I still recollect in the dressing room I told MS, ‘This is a good team.’ And he said, ‘Sir, World Cup jeetke ayenge (Sir, we will come back with the World Cup).’ I was shocked just seeing the confidence,” Jagdale revealed.
MS Dhoni retired from international cricket in August 2015. However, he has confirmed that he will lead his IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings, in 2021 as well as CSK failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time this year.