MS Dhoni has been one of the best leaders in the history of the game. He debuted in 2004 and soon enhanced his reputation as a hard hitting batsman.
When he was given the leadership in 2007 on Tendulkar’s recommendation, many had raised their eyebrows, asserting he wouldn’t be a long term option. But the way he led the team in the World T20 2007 with calmness by making some decisive decisions, convinced everyone that the selectors had got their call right.
#1 Not dropping Kohli from the Test Side–
There was hardly any doubt about Kohli’s prowess in ODIs. Kohli had scored quite a few centuries before the 2011 World Cup and established himself as a number 4 in the strong Indian batting line up. But he did not have a good start in Test cricket. When Kohli debuted against the West Indies in 2011, he was clearly troubled by the short delivery and struggled against the moving ball.
When he failed in a couple of matches in Australia, the team management wanted to drop Kohli. MS Dhoni, looking into the future selected Kohli for the next match in Perth and he responded with a responsible 44 and 75. He scored his maiden Test century in the next Test in Adelaide and repaid the faith of his captain.
#2 Making Rohit Sharma an opener in the shortest formats-
Rohit Sharma was always the talented one. It was evident in the way he timed the ball in the 2007 World T20. Inspite of having this outstanding ability, he somehow couldn’t cement his place in the Indian team. He was always in and out of the team due to his inconsistent performances.This didn’t deter MS Dhoni from selecting him time and again and giving him opportunities to prove himself at the highest level.
2013 Champions Trophy became a turning point in Rohit’s career when he was asked to open. Before the tournament, he did not have success as an opener in the couple of warm up games. When people felt Murali Vijay would open with Shikhar Dhawan, Dhoni threw up a surprise by asking Rohit to open with Shikhar and the duo added 127 versus South Africa in the tournament opener and as they say the rest is history.
#3 Selecting Ravichandran Ashwin in the Test Side
Ravi Ashwin came into the scene with the IPL and was always considered as an X-factor in the CSK team. Some consistent performances in the IPL, got him into the Indian side and he tasted success against New Zealand in 2010, which made captain Gautam Gambhir to say that he was one of the finds of the series.
Harbhajan was still the senior spinner in the team and he always had his injury problems. This prompted Dhoni to select Ashwin in the Test side and he had a dream debut picking 9 wickets against West Indies and capped off the series with a century in Wankhede. He even won the Man of the Series for his efforts. This convinced Dhoni about his abilities after which he started sidelining Harbhajan.