Rahul Dravid, the new head coach had captained MS Dhoni for a brief period of time in international cricket. In 2006-07, Rahul Dravid had reportedly scolded MS Dhoni for playing a rash shot. According to Virender Sehwag, the incident changed the former keeper MS Dhoni, who remains the only skipper to win all 3 ICC titles-the T20I World Cup (2007), the ODI World cup (2011), and the Champions Trophy (2013).
From being a flamboyant wicket-keeper batsman who liked to play aggressive shots to becoming one of the finest finishers the game has ever produced, MS Dhoni went through a big transformation in his career. While it was the current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly who gave him his first break into the national team, according to Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni’s big transformation happened under Rahul Dravid.
Rahul Dravid Once Scolded MS Dhoni For Being Dismissed After Playing A Bad Shot And The Incident Changed MS Dhoni: Virender Sehwag
MS Dhoni didn’t take long in becoming a household name in the Indian cricketing spectrum. After making his debut in 2005, he first became the Indian cricket team’s skipper in 2007 and lifted the inaugural T20I World Cup with some exciting youngsters and veterans playing under him.
With every passing year, however, the Jharkhand-born cricketer became more and more responsible as a batsman. Speaking of the way MS Dhoni brought about a change in his batting, Virender Sehwag revealed that it was all down to an incident where the wicket-keeper batsman was scolded by Rahul Dravid for playing an irresponsible shot in 2006-07.
“He was given the finisher’s role under Rahul Dravid, who once scolded him for getting out after playing a bad shot. I think that incident changed him. So around 2006-07, he transformed and started taking responsibility of finishing matches,” Sehwag was quoted as saying.
Rahul Dravid is generally very calm and collected as a person. Both Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni have immense respect for each other and they have often spoken about it in public forums as well. Over the years, MS Dhoni has been at the centre of many match-winning finishes for the Indian team. More often than not, it was left-handed southpaw Yuvraj Singh who used to accompany him in those run chases.
“He (Dhoni) formed an unbelievable partnership with Yuvraj when we registered that record of 16 successive chases,” Sehwag added.
When MS Dhoni stepped aside as the captain from all formats, in early 2017, Virat Kohli stepped up and took over the reins from his senior cricketer. MS Dhoni, however, remained a vital cog of Virat Kohli-led India’s limited-overs side, having retired from Tests in late 2014, till he played his last match in the 2019 ODI World Cup and decided to hang up his boots the following year on Independence day.
Virender Sehwag Recollects Sourav Ganguly Demoted Himself In The Batting Order Sacrificing His Spot To Virender Sehwag And Then MS Dhoni
Virender Sehwag also lauded Sourav Ganguly for sacrificing his spot in the team for MS Dhoni. Sourav Ganguly had earlier done the same for Virender Sehwag by giving his opening spot to the Nawab of Najafgarh. On seeing MS Dhoni’s potential to deliver higher in the batting order, Sourav Ganguly further demoted himself in order to make way for the lad from Jharkhand.
“Those days (2005) we were experimenting with pinch-hitters. Dada (Ganguly) had planned that Dhoni would get 3-4 chances at No. 3. If it works then fine, otherwise they would try someone else. Very few captains do it. He first sacrificed his (opening) spot for me and then he gave his slot to Dhoni. If Dada had not done that, Dhoni might not have become such a big player,” Sehwag highlighted.
MS Dhoni did win hearts with a little gesture of his during Sourav Ganguly’s retirement game in 2008 when he voluntarily left the field, allowing the Prince of Kolkata to lead the Indian team for one last time during a Test match against Australia in Nagpur.
It was under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy that MS Dhoni made his international debut in 2005. He has also been promoted up the batting order very early in his career where he played knocks like 183 against Sri Lanka and 148 against Pakistan.