India’s victory of the 2011 Cricket World Cup is undoubtedly one of the biggest sporting moments in the history of the country till date. We also know that MS Dhoni’s unexpected promotion in the Indian batting order in the final fetched them the trophy. But did you know that it was Sachin Tendulkar who made the critical decision?
It is Sachin’s close friend and former Indian opening batsman Virender Sehwag who revealed the details, in a recent interview in the talk-show “#CricketDiaries” on Youtube.
“As we [Sachin Tendulkar and him] were sitting in the dressing room mourning our dismissals, MS Dhoni walked in from the restroom. Sachin [Tendulkar] then told him: ‘Dhoni, if the righty (right-handed batsman) gets out, send in another righty. If the lefty (left-handed batsman) gets out, send in another lefty.’“
“Sachin knew that Dhoni knew both the spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Suraj Randiv who were bowling then – they had been his teammates at Chennai Super Kings and no one knew how to play against them as much as Dhoni did. That was why Sachin asked him to shuffle the batting lineup.”
“Dhoni listened to his advice, scanned the batting order and then told Gary (Gary Kirsten – India’s then head coach) that he will go in if Virat Kohli gets out,” Sehwag said.
“Immediately after Dhoni got padded up, Kohli got out and Dhoni walked in based on Tendulkar’s advice – and you know the rest of the story,” he added.
Check out the full interview right here:
Chasing Sri Lanka’s first-innings total of 274, India were 31/2 at one stage of their second innings in the 2011 Cricket World Cup final, after Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar got dismissed for paltry scores. Later, it was Gautam Gambhir (97), MS Dhoni (91 not out), Virat Kohli (35) and Yuvraj Singh (21 not out) who led India to victory.
Dhoni was memorably adjudged man-of-the-match for his game-changing innings of 91 not out in 79 balls. Meanwhile, it is indeed worth remembering that the masterclass idea of promoting him up the batting order came from none other than the master of cricket himself, Sachin Tendulkar.