One of many good qualities of MS Dhoni’s captaincy career is the amount of faith he shows in his players. The Indian limited overs’ skipper’s decision to constantly back Rohit Sharma was severely criticized but he persisted with him and is now reaping the rewards as Rohit has now turned into a world beater. However, one incident that happened during India’s last tour of England in 2014, unfortunately, shows Dhoni rarely not having any faith in his player.
The incident happened when the Indian team were playing a T20I against the hosts. Chasing a target of 181, the Indian team needed 17 runs in the last over and with Dhoni on the crease the target seemed within reach. And Dhoni, as expected, backed himself to chase it but his treatment of his partner Ambati Rayudu left everyone baffled. The Indian skipper did not let the batsman face a single ball in the over as India went on to lose the match by 3 runs.
Coming to the last over, it looked like it would be Dhoni and India’s day as he slammed Chris Woakes for six off the very first ball. A two off the next ball meant India needed nine from the last four deliveries. It looked then like a typical Dhoni chase but that’s when he decided to treat Rayudu like a tailender. He turned down a single off the third ball and after just about muscling Woakes over mid-off for a boundary, did it again on the penultimate ball when India needed five.
That left Dhoni needing essentially a six off the final ball or a four to tie but he could manage only a single. Well showing some faith in Ruyudu may not have won the match for India, but it would have given Rayudu a whole lot of confidence and who knows, the man who has consistently performed for the Mumbai Indians in IPL might have won the match for India.
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