November 22 2018
MS Dhoni has had a colossal influence on Indian cricket. Guiding India to World Cups in the ODI and T20 format, he also took the country to the No. 1 ranking in Tests and established the Men in Blue as a force to be reckoned with. Along with shaping the country’s future, Dhonihas changed the destinies of several Indian cricketers. Here are 5 such examples of successful Indian cricketers who owe their careers to Dhoni:
He is now hailed as the Hit Man with a world record of 3 ODI double centuries to his name, but it was Dhoni’s persistence that ensured he remained in the team when his career just wasn’t picking up. In 2013, after several inconsistent years, Dhoni promoted him from a middle order batsman to an opener. He had just finished a series in Sri Lanka with 13 runs in 5 matches but as an opener, he scored 83 off 93 balls in Mohali and hasn’t looked back ever since.
Jadeja got into the Indian team as a batting all-rounder, who could score down the innings and chip in with the ball. But despite his Ranji form, he struggled in the national team. Dhoni, however, realized he was a utility player and turned him into a spinner who slowed the scoring, claimed breakthroughs and could also chip in with the bat. He claimed 24 wickets in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2013 and has shaped into a bowling all-rounder thanks to Dhoni.
Ravichandran Ashwin came into the limelight during IPL 2010. Playing for CSK under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, he excelled in the T20 event and got his ODI and Test call up soon after that. He was part of the 2011 World Cup winning team despite being relatively inexperienced. Dhoni turned him into an attacking bowler who even bowled in power-plays, something that’s common now but wasn’t back then. Dhoni has consistently backed Ashwin, even after dismal performances, especially during tours in Australia and England.
It is no secret that Raina’s batting had a lot of flaws. A consistent T20 performer, he struggled sometimes in ODIs and was hapless as a Test batsman but despite all that, he has always been backed by Dhoni. Being his club and country skipper, people believed that Dhoniwas partial when it came to Raina. Despite coming under fire, Raina was tried at No. 3, promoted to captaincy and even given Dhoni’s No. 7 jersey when he retired. But his career never really took off.
It is tough to imagine now but there was a time when Virat Kohli was struggling in Tests. During the 2011-12 tour of Australia, the selectors wanted to drop him and play Rohit Sharma instead in the Perth Test. But Dhoni persisted with Kohli who got himself a half century. In the next Test in Adelaide, Kohli scored a century and that’s all he’s been doing ever since!