Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be an institution in himself in the game of cricket, but when he was appointed as the captain of the Indian Cricket Team in 2007, the decision of BCCI did not fail to raise quite many eyebrows. As one may look back, it was probably one of the best decisions taken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. But back then, when Mahi – as MS Dhoni is lovingly known as – was still a rookie, the decision did surprise many.
Now, Mahi is one of the best ever captains Indian cricket has ever seen. He is the only captain who has to his credit not one but two world cup wins, the first of which came in his very first tournament as a captain. Yet, instead of anointing the captain, the BCCI was blamed by many for playing a gamble.
However, that is all past now as the entire country slowly began appreciating Dhoni not only as a captain but also as a match-winner. But what made the Indian selectors choose him in the first place, ahead of many legendary players who were playing at that time?
In his recent interview with The Print, Dhoni enlightened all his fans the apparent reason which led the selectors appoint him as the captain. According to Dhoni:
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I feel that looking at everything, maybe it was the honesty that I had, and my ability to read the game. Reading the game is very important, and even though I was one of the youngest in the team at that point of time when asked about my views by a senior player, I was not afraid or hesitant to share my feelings about the game.
Dhoni also acknowledged his great rapport with all the cricketers, which was explanation enough for his expertise as a captain.
In a remarkable career spreading over 90 Tests, 309 ODIs and 83 T20s, he led the Indian 11 in 60 Tests (winning 27), 199 ODIs (winning 110) and 72 T20Is (winning 41).
What helped him garner more respect is the way he paved the way for Virat Kohli to lead the Men in Blue in January by stepping down as a captain, even though he was in the peak of his game.
Dhoni also had his share of rough patches, with certain former cricketers recently questioning his role in the current set-up of the Indian cricket team. However, he was backed by both coach Ravi Shastri and the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, saying he is an indispensable part of the playing 11 at least till World Cup 2019.