Agartala, Apr 06, 2020, india today
Former India captain Sachin Tendulkar was actually the brains behind the decision of MS Dhoni's promotion ahead of Yuvraj Singh in the 50-over World Cup final against India on April 2, 2011.
Tendulkar revealed the reason behind the strategy change in a recent interview in which he also stated that he told Virender Sehwag to convey the message to captain Dhoni in the dressing room during India's 275-run chase.
The partnership between Gautam and Virat was flourishing and we wanted to be a couple of steps ahead of the opposition. That’s when I told Viru ... if a left-hander (Gautam) gets out now, a left-hander (Yuvi) should go in, and if a right-hander (Virat) gets out, a right-hander (Dhoni) should go in.
"Yuvi was in tremendous form but Sri Lanka had two off-spinners going, so I thought a strategy change would work," Tendulkar told Times of India.
"Gautam was batting brilliantly and someone like Dhoni could’ve kept rotating the strike. So I told Viru, tu overs ke beech mein sirf ye baat bahar jaake MS ko bol aur next over shuru hone se pehle waapis aaja. Main yahan se nahi hilne wala.
"I asked MS to consider this strategy. He then went to Gary (Kirsten), who was sitting outside. Then Gary came in and all four of us got talking about it. Gary too agreed it was the right thing to do, given the attack on hand. MS also agreed and promoted himself up the order," Tendulkar added.
Virender Sehwag, who was sitting beside Tendulkar on the dressing room balcony during the tense run chase, confirmed Tendulkar's version saying that he was the first-hand witness to all of this.
"He was right. Left-right combination needed to continue. That change in strategy completely caught the Sri Lankans off guard.
"Before he could even complete his sentence, we saw MS walking into the dressing room. So, that’s when he (Sachin) repeated the same thing to MS, in front of me," Sehwag said.
Dhoni, who was struggling for runs throughout the World Cup, came in ahead of the in-form Yuvraj in the summit clash and smashed 91 not out to help India win the match by 6 wickets.
Dhoni was involved in a 109-run partnership with top-scorer Gautam Gambhir (97) and then stitched 54 runs with Yuvraj (21 not out) as India ended a 28-year wait to clinch their second 50-over World Cup title.
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