Former Indian pacer, Irfan Pathan, said in an interview about how Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his captaincy towards the bowlers. Initially, when the world-cup-winning skipper stepped into leadership, he used to control the bowlers. However, with time, MSD started trusting them and gave them their space to experiment and judge the game.
The 35-year-old Irfan Pathan, who has played under Dhoni’s captaincy in both – 2007 T20 World Cup winning team and Champions trophy in 2013 – said, as the years went by, Dhoni changed as a captain and a player.
“In 2007, it was the first time and you understand that when you are given a big responsibility of leading a team, you get excited,” Pathan said when asked how Dhoni changed as a captain between 2007 and 2013. “The team meetings were always small though, both in 2007 and 2013 during Champions Trophy, just five minutes meeting,” added the bowler, who announced his retirement from all forms of cricket earlier this year.”
Talking about the positive change he noticed in Dhoni, the fast-bowler said, “…in 2007, he used to run from wicketkeeping to bowling end in excitement and try to control the bowler as well but by the time 2013 came he was letting the bowler control themselves. He was very calm and in control.”
Dhoni has not stepped on the field since the ODI World Cup, where India lost in the semi-finals last year. He led the country in limited-overs formats from 2007 to 2016 and in Test cricket from 2008 to 2014. The 38-year-old is the only captain to win all ICC trophies.
Irfan Pathan also added that by 2013, Dhoni had started using the spinners in a difficult situation to win the matches.
“Between 2007 and 2013, he gained the experience of trusting his slow bowlers and spinners and by the time Champions Trophy came, he was very clear that in crucial time he needs to get his spinners into play to win the games,” Pathan said.
We won’t ever forget Irfan Pathan’s astonishing contribution to Indian cricket. Read more massively-hit content on Mad Over Cricket.