Was Expecting to Lead India in 2007 T20 World Cup Before MS Dhoni – Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh was expecting to lead India in 2007 T20 World Cup. Image Credits: Yuvraj Singh Twitter

India’s former talisman all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has revealed that he was looking to lead the national team in the 2007 T20 World Cup before MS Dhoni was named captain. The senior Indian players like Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar had decided to back out from the inaugural T20 World Cup and it provided an opportunity to youngsters to showcase their talent.

Yuvraj Singh had more International experience than MS Dhoni at that time and everybody expected that the all-rounder will be given the baton to lead the team in the major event after the disappointment of the 2007 50-overs World Cup. However, to Yuvraj Singh and everyone’s surprise, Dhoni was given the captaincy bridle. In fact, it was Sachin Tendulkar, who recommended MS Dhoni’s name for the captaincy role.

The selectors noted that Dhoni is mostly calm under pressure and he led the team to glory in the maiden edition of the T20 World Cup and it changed Indian cricket for good.

“So, basically, India had lost the 50-over World Cup, right? I mean there was quite a turmoil in Indian cricket and then there was a two-month tour of England and there was also a month tour in between with South Africa and Ireland. And then there was a month of T20 World Cup so there were like four months away from home. So probably the seniors thought that they need a break and obviously, nobody took the T20 World Cup seriously. I was expecting to captain India in the T20 World Cup and then it was announced MS Dhoni will be the captain,” Yuvraj Singh said on the 22 Yarns podcast.

Yuvraj added that it didn’t impact his bonhomie with MS Dhoni as he is always a team man. The former all-rounder also revealed an interesting anecdote regarding Zaheer Khan.

“Yes, obviously, whoever becomes captain you got to support that guy whether it was Rahul, whether it was [Sourav] Ganguly, whoever in the future, end of the day you want to be a team man and that’s how I was. So, anyway, the seniors took a rest – Ganguly, Dravid, Sachin. So Zak [Zaheer Khan] says ‘I also should take rest, it has been a long tour’. I remember the first game was between West Indies and South Africa, right? And Chris Gayle hit a hundred off 50-55 balls. So Zak sends me a message in the night and he goes ‘Thank God! I rested for this tournament.’ and when we won the tournament he said ‘Oh no! I shouldn’t have rested’,” added Singh.