MS Dhoni was chosen as the captain of a young Indian team for the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007.
Furthermore, India had only played one T20I before the competition, and senior players Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Sourav Ganguly decided to withdraw. The team was under a lot of pressure after India’s humiliating loss from the group stages of the ODI World Cup earlier that year.
MS Dhoni, on the other hand, built a solid basis for Team India’s upcoming successful decade. Seniors like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir, and Virender Sehwag stepped up at various points of the T20 World Cup, while Dhoni backed youngsters like Piyush Chawla and RP Singh as India beat the odds to win the tournament.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 24, 2018
On that point, let’s take a look back at some of MS Dhoni’s most important decisions during the 2007 T20 World Cup, which cemented his reputation as a superb skipper.
1 vs. Pakistan in a bowl-out
— ICC (@ICC) September 14, 2016
The first completed match was a tight encounter that ended in a draw versus arch-rivals Pakistan. When Pakistan’s regular bowlers were used in the bowl-out, MS Dhoni chose the slower bowlers Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and Robin Uthappa to take a chance.
Dhoni stood near to the stumps as his bowlers reached the mark as India won the bowl-out by a score of 3-0. As captain of Team India, he made one of his first bold, yet effective decisions.
South Africa was knocked out of the T20 World Cup in the second round.
🔸 Rohit Sharma’s maiden T20I fifty
🔸 RP Singh’s brilliant 4/13
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) September 20, 2020
Team India batted first in a must-win game against South Africa at Kingsmead, scoring just 153 runs, with Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni contributing significantly.
South Africa just needed 126 runs to reach the semi-finals, but Dhoni used pacers RP Singh and S Sreesanth to perfection, limiting the Proteas to just 116 runs and eliminating them from the tournament. Dhoni and his teammates were not intimidated by the South African batting lineup’s strong hitters. Furthermore, South Africa was playing in their own backyard.
3 Australia’s Conquest
India go to the final 🙌#OnThisDay in 2007, Yuvraj Singh’s fiery 30-ball 70 and disciplined bowling helped India script a memorable 15-run win over Australia at the ICC Men’s #T20WorldCup.#T20TakesOff | Sign up and watch the extended highlights 👇
— ICC (@ICC) September 22, 2020