That former India opener Gautam Gambhir is not a big fan of MS Dhoni is no secret. Be it Dhoni's decision to prolong retirement or his rotation policy as skipper during the CB series in 2012, Gambhir has constantly questioned the moves made by Dhoni.
Now, in his latest attack, he has indirectly blamed Dhoni for missing out on a hundred in the 2011 World Cup final. Gambhir was the top-scorer for India in the World Cup final, played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He made a hard-fought 97 before trying to slog Thisara Perera and lost his wicket, getting clean bowled. Dhoni (91 not out) then took India to victory along with Yuvraj Singh (21 not out). India lifted the World Cup after 28 years, but Gambhir remained an unsung hero, as Dhoni and Singh grabbed all the limelight.
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As Gambhir makes news again for his MSD-bashing, we take a look at three times the cricketer-turned-Member of Parliament has criticised the former India captain in recent times.
#1 When Dhoni ‘distracted’ Gambhir
In a interview with Lallantop, Gambhir has claimed that Dhoni’s reminder to him that he was only three runs away from a hundred in a World Cup final served as a distraction to him.
"I have been asked this question many times, on what happened when I was on 97. I tell every youngster and every person that before getting to 97, I never thought about my own individual score but looked at the target set by Sri Lanka,"
Gambhir said in the interview.
"I remember that after the completion of one over, Dhoni told me that 'three runs are remaining, get these three runs and your hundred would be completed',"
he further added.
"When your mind suddenly turns to your individual performance, individual score, then somewhere you have a rush of blood. Before that moment, my target was only to chase Sri Lanka's target. If only that target remained in my mind, maybe, I would have easily scored my hundred. Till I was on 97, I was in the present. But as soon as I thought that I am just three runs away from getting a hundred, the rush of blood caused by the desire to get to a hundred took over,”
the former cricketer lamented.
Gambhir also revealed his thoughts immediately after he was dismissed, in the interview.
“When I was walking back to the dressing room after being dismissed, I said to myself that these three runs would trouble me for the rest of my life and that is true. Even to this day, people ask me why I couldn't get those three runs."
#2 Gambhir terms Dhoni’s rotation policy ‘crap’
In the interview with Lallantop, Gambhir also targetted Dhoni’s rotation policy during the CB series in Australia in 2012, describing it as ‘crap’. Dhoni, the then Indian skipper, had stated that it was not possible to play Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gambhir in one team, and hence they would be rotated. As a result of the policy, Gambhir found himself out of the playing eleven in spite of recording consecutive 90s. Gambhir scored 308 runs in the series, second best for India after Virat Kohli (373).
Reflecting on the controversy, Gambhir said,
“I believe that one should follow the captain’s decision but it was complete crap. You started with the rotation policy but played all the three in the must-win games. If you make a decision, back your decision, stick to it.”
He also claimed that he was made to feel secure only once in his international career, which is very important for a player to succeed.
“I was made to feel secure just once. During that phase only, I became the ICC Test Player of the Year. India won the triangular series just once in Australia and I was the highest run-scorer. India won a Test series once in 40 years in New Zealand and I was the Man of the Series. I score five consecutive hundreds. This is why it is important to make young players feel secure,”
#3 Gambhir slams Dhoni’s ‘pick and choose’ policy
"I have always maintained this one thing. Retirement is an individual call, I think for me selectors should talk to him and ask him about his future plan. Ultimately for me, playing for India, you should not be picking and choosing series,"
Gambhir was quoted as saying in media reports.
Dhoni has not featured in a single international match for India’s since the team was knocked out in the semi-final of the World Cup by New Zealand. Dhoni scored 273 runs in eight innings, but came under the pump for his low strike rate of 87.78.