Forgetting the Dhoni factor, you are missing: Team India lost even after making 200+ against Australia in the first T20

New Delhi3 minutes agoAuthor: Chandresh Narayanan

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After Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement from white ball cricket in 2020, there has been a kind of vacuum in the Indian team. The team has never recovered from this and many times it shows up when the team misses opportunities. During the recently concluded Asia Cup, Rishabh Pant got an opportunity to get out by hitting the ball on the stumps, but he missed this opportunity against Sri Lanka. As a result, the Indian team was out.

At that time, Pant started being compared to Dhoni by the experts of the cricket world that if Dhoni was present at that time, he would not have missed it. Dhoni’s absence has been felt many times by the team in the last three years. His place in Test cricket was quickly filled, but he still seems to be needed in white-ball cricket. Five such incidents, when Dhoni’s game plan was seen in limited overs cricket.

Used to show leadership even in batting
Dhoni captained in 72 T20s and won 41. In this, 18 matches were won by winning the toss and 23 by losing the toss. Dhoni won the maximum 13 matches, when he had to bat first after losing the toss. Dhoni returned unbeaten in 22 out of 41 matches won under Dhoni’s captaincy. Virat won 11 out of 30 matches under his captaincy and Rohit remained unbeaten in just 3 matches out of 31 matches won under his captaincy.

Team India won 41 T20s under Dhoni's captaincy.

Team India won 41 T20s under Dhoni’s captaincy.

2007 T20 World Cup Final: The ball was handed to the new bowler, so that the batsman could not understand
Pakistan was chasing a target of 158. Pakistan’s Misbah was at the crease with one wicket left. Pakistan needed 13 runs in the last over. Experienced Harbhajan Singh had one over left, but Dhoni took a risk and gave the ball to inexperienced Joginder Sharma. He also did this because Misbah had hit three sixes in Harbhajan’s third over.

This strategy of Dhoni worked. Jongider’s first ball was wide and the second was hit for a six, but he made a comeback and ended Pakistan’s innings by taking the wicket of Misbah on the third ball. Misbah scooped at short fine-leg, where he was caught by Sreesanth. Dhoni’s magic made India the first T20 world champion.

The Indian team became the T20 World Champion in 2007 by defeating Pakistan by 5 runs.

The Indian team became the T20 World Champion in 2007 by defeating Pakistan by 5 runs.

2011 World Cup Final: Took responsibility in the big match and stayed till the last minute
Yuvraj’s all-round performance, Zaheer Khan’s accurate bowling and Sachin Tendulkar’s consistency throughout the tournament led India to victory, but India lost their top order cheaply in the final against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium. Gambhir and Kohli shared an 83-run partnership. But after the dismissal of Kohli, Dhoni himself came to the crease.

He didn’t send in-form player Yuvraj. It proved to be a master stroke, as Dhoni shared a 109-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Gambhir to take the team closer to victory. He played an unbeaten innings of 91 runs off 79 balls. Dhoni took India to victory by hitting a six and he became the player of the final.

Dhoni scored 91 runs in the 2011 ODI World Cup final.

Dhoni scored 91 runs in the 2011 ODI World Cup final.

2013 Champions Trophy: Recognize the talent of the player and play the role accordingly
This tournament marked the beginning of a new era of white ball cricket in India. Till then it was decided that Gambhir and Sehwag would open after Sachin retired from ODIs. But all changed during the 2013 Champions Trophy. India entered the tournament with the new opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Their plan was successful as the Rohit-Shikhar pair remained the most successful opening pair for the next decade.

It was Dhoni who established Rohit as an opener. It is hard to imagine that Rohit averaged just 30 before becoming an ODI opener and was not even selected in the ODI World Cup squad. Now he also opens in Tests and is the captain of all formats.

Team India had landed with the new opening pair of Shikhar.

Team India had landed with the new opening pair of Shikhar.

2016 T20 World Cup: Don’t just depend on the bowler and change roles if needed
It was a do or die match against Bangladesh in Bangalore. India needed to win this match to stay in the tournament. Bangladesh were chasing the target with ease and needed 11 runs in the last over to win. Dhoni once again surprised and handed the ball to young Hardik Pandya. 4 fours came off Hardik’s ball.

Bangladesh needed just 2 runs off the last ball. He took off a glove to help with the throw. Bangladesh’s Shuvagata Hom misses a bouncer and runs for a run on the bye. The ball went to Dhoni and he ran fast and dropped the bails to run out Mustafizur. With this, India won the match by one run.

Dhoni's run out helped India beat Bangladesh by one run.

Dhoni’s run out helped India beat Bangladesh by one run.

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