Gambhir Questions Dhoni’s Decision In 2012 CB Series

One of India’s best cricket captain till date is Mahendra Singh Dhoni. His captaincy stint began with the 2007 T20 World Cup win and reached the zenith during the 2011 ODI World Cup win.

Between these two tournament wins, he had achieved many achievements. The list includes Tri-series win in Australia, Test series win in New Zealand, drawing Test series in South Africa and taking India to No. 1 rank in ICC Test team rankings for the first time.

He is the only captain to have won three ICC tournaments – ICC World T20I, World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy. However among these achievements, it was one incident which tainted Dhoni’s captaincy era.

During the 2012 CB series in Australia, Dhoni decided to rotate some of the senior players of the team. He wanted to improve the standards of fielding and hence wanted to inject youngsters in the squad.

As a result he wanted to bench either of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir from the playing XI. The decision shocked everyone as all the three batsmen had a huge impact in changing India into a world champion.

Moreover Tendulkar and Gambhir played a pivotal role during the 2008 CB series win. However because of the rotation policy, they could not give their best in 2012. India also suffered as they failed to make it to the final, which hosts Australia won by beating Sri Lanka.

Gambhir opens up about the incident

Six years after that incident, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir opened up on the incident. He has revealed that he was totally shocked when he heard about Dhoni’s rotation policy.

“In the 2012 Tri-series in Australia, Dhoni declared that he can’t play all three of us together as he was looking ahead at the 2015 World Cup. It was a massive shock, I think it would have been a massive shock for any cricketer. I have not heard anyone be told in 2012 that they would never be a part of the 2015 World Cup. I always had the impression that if you keep scoring runs, age is a just a number,” Gambhir told India Today.

“If you have the skills to score the runs and you are not a liability on the field, you can go on to play as long as you want. This was always told to us and even in Australia we got to know that all the three can’t play together, and we eventually got to play together,” he added.

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Gambhir recalls India vs Sri Lanka match

Gambhir further recalled India’s famous win at Hobard against Sri Lanka. India had to win the match by 37 overs in order to stay alive in the competition. Virat Kohli scored a blazing ton while Dhoni had to ditch his rotation policy for the do-or-die game.

“When we were in a desperate need to win a game, I remember in Hobart, Viru and Sachin opened and I batted at three with Virat batted at four. India won that game and we had to chase in 37 over. At the start of the series, we didn’t play together, it was a rotation thing. When it was a desperate moment, MS had to play three of us. If you take a decision, back your decision, stick to it. Don’t back on something on which you have already decided.

“First you decided that you won’t play the three of us together, then you decided that you are going to play the three of us together. Either the original decision was wrong, or the second decision was wrong. He took that decision as a captain and it was a shock to all three of us,” Gambhir recalled.

Gambhir has recently announced his retirement from all the formats of the game. The ongoing Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Andhra will be his last competitive game.