Mumbai: The last quarter of 2021 was dominated by the speculated rift between Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma and Indian cricket. It is a captain-vice-captain war that has taken place in the dressing-room. But, Indian cricket is no stranger to such a scenario. A little more than a decade ago – between 2009 to 2012 – when MS Dhoni was the captain and Virender Sehwag his deputy – something similar had happened.
Dhoni – who has successfully managed to deflect controversies – found himself in one in 2009 – just ahead of the T20 World Cup that year. Sehwag pulled out of the marquee event at the last minute due to an aggravated shoulder. But there was a lot of mystery around it.
When asked about the injury at a pre-match press conference, Dhoni curtly replied with: “Maybe you should ask his physio to issue a press release”. It was enough for the press to latch onto and they milked the news really well indicating that there are differences between senior players on the side.
Things finally reached a stage where Dhoni had to parade the entire team to a presser just to show that there was unity in the side. The move worked as the news of the rift was forgotten. Despite all that, fans can still not forget about that era of Indian cricket.
One reckons the rift stemmed from the fact that Sehwag – who made his debut in 1999 – was Dhoni’s senior in the side. This is one fact that may have not gone down well with the ex-India opener. Being the senior in the side, Sehwag would have hoped he would be preferred as captain over Dhoni in 2007, but that did not happen. Also, Dhoni’s instant success may have made Sehwag a little uncomfortable.
There can be ample speculations around the episode – but the bottom line is – they are legends of the game in their own right and will forever be treasured.