According to the former India pacer Irfan Pathan, the World Cup-winning ex-skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni during his start of captaincy back in 2007, he liked to control his bowlers , however developed his trust by 2013, a phase during which he also became a calmer leader.
The 35-year-old Pathan played under Dhoni as part of both the 2007 World Cup-winning team and the 2013 Champions Trophy-clinching side. He said as As the years went by, Dhoni changed as a captain in more than one ways.
On Star Sports’ ‘Cricket Connected’ ,when asked how Dhoni changed as a captain between 2007 and 2013, Pathan said, “In 2007, it was the first time and you understand that when you are given a big responsibility of leading a team, you get excited,”
“The team meetings were always small though, both in 2007 and 2013 during Champions Trophy, just 5 minutes meeting,” added the bowler.
Pathan responded to the question about the one change that he noticed in Dhoni, “when young Mahendra Singh Dhoni became a captain in 2007, he used to run from the wicket-keeping end to the bowler in excitement and try to control the bowler as well.”
“By 2013, he was letting the bowler control themselves rather he controlling them, so he understood that and he was very calm and in control in 2013 Champions Trophy.”
India won the 2007 World T20, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, the 2011 ODI World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy under the captaincy of Dhoni.
“When Dhoni became the captain for the first time and then obviously talking about 2013 Champions Trophy, he gained the experience, in between, of trusting his slow bowlers”, Pathan added.
“…he was very clear that in crucial time he needs to get his spinners into play to win the games,” he said.