Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ Nov 10 2022, 4:35 PM

What if MS Dhoni was the captain of India in T20 World Cup 2022?


image-laba88g2India winning the champions trophy under MSD (Source: Twitter)

India have lost the semi-final in ICC T20 World Cup 2022 against England. It was a one sided contest where England chased down the target of 169 runs in 16 overs without losing a single wicket. 

From team selection to nerves failing in the crunch situations, there were quite a few things that did not go India's way on the day. On a pitch where the English spinners changed the momentum of the game in their team's favour, India decided not go with Yuzvendra Chahal. 

Since, India have been eliminated from the tournament, people have been recalling the days when the 'Men in Blue' used to win knock-out matches and win the multi-nation tournaments under the leadership of MS Dhoni. 

Now, the question arises did we really miss the Mastermind? If so, then why did we miss the cool head of MSD? Also, what he would have done differently in the same situation?

So let us try and find an answer to the question, what if MS Dhoni was leading team India in this World Cup. 

Why think of MS Dhoni?

First of all, why are we even talking of MS Dhoni even after 3 years of his retirement? 

Let us go back down the memory lanes and revisit the Champions Trophy 2013 final at Birmingham, England.  It was a  match which was shortened due to rain and was curtailed to a T20 competition. 

India batted first and posted a mere total of 129 runs in their 20 overs. But MS Dhoni read the conditions perfectly. 

He knew that the ball was gripping and his biggest trump cards would be the two spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. 

England were positioned at 102 for 4 at the end of 17th over, needing just 28 runs of the last three overs. But MSD kept his composure and the biggest strategic masterclass was that he kept two overs of his spinners for the end. 

Well, it was Ishant who changed the momentum of the game with two successive wickets of Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara in the 18th over. But with Buttler, the finisher and Tim Bresnan who was quite a handy batter, 19 runs of the last two overs was not an impossible task.

But Dhoni trusted his instincts and went with his spinners in the last two and India won the match by 5 runs. Also, the fact that he got 3 overs out of part-timer, Suresh Raina shows how nicely MSD read the situation and the conditions of a match and knew to slow down the game when needed. 

What would have MSD done different at Adelaide?

The first thing MS Dhoni would have done is after seeing the pitch at Adelaide, he would have inducted Yuzvendra Chahal in place of probably Bhuvneshwar Kumar and played three spinners. 

MSD's second step would have been opening with a spinner and not letting Jos Buttler get settled with pace at the very beginning. 

The third step he would have taken is revolve the spinners very cleverly and might have even looked to get out a couple of overs from a part-timer like Rohit Sharma. 

And last but not the least, MS Dhoni behind the stumps would have been the best man to have directed the flow of the match. He would have guided the bowlers and got out what he exactly wanted from his spinners. 

With due respect to all, the pitch, the conditions, the stage, the match situation was perfect for MSD's captaincy. Even if India would not have won in his presence it would have been much closer and enjoyable contest for sure. 


Also Read: Unanswered riddles leads to India's semi-final exit