The ICC awards of the decade were released this Sunday. While generally, all the meritorious players found a mention in the ICC team of the decade. But certain inclusions in the team raised plenty of eyebrows and the biggest of them all was the presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the side. Dhoni was named the captain of the ICC Men’s T20 Team of the Decade by the ICC.
The former skipper of the Indian cricket team had retired from international cricket in August 2020. ICC announced their ICC Teams of the Decade in all the formats of the game and named Dhoni the captain of both T20 and ODI sides. While fans were delirious with Dhoni being appointed the captain, this move did not go down well with many sections of cricket experts and fans.
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Dhoni’s legacy as a captain:
Dhoni is widely considered one of the best captains to have ever led a side. He remains the only captain in the world to have won the treble of the 50-over ODI World Cup (2011), T20 World Cup (2007), and Champions Trophy (2013). These wins further cemented his legacy as one of the best limited-overs captains. But apart from the 50-over World Cup win and Champions Trophy win, India under Dhoni failed to win any trophy, especially since the slate was blank in the T20I format. Even though India reached the finals of World T20 in 2014 and the semi-finals of World T20 in 2016, the failure to win the trophy in the whole decade stands glaring. Hence the question of naming Dhoni the captain of the World T20 team has sparked widespread debate.
Former India batsman Aakash Chopra was quoted saying that he was surprised by Dhoni’s selection in the side and was left ‘intrigued’ by the exclusion of Jos Buttler. Buttler has been one of the standout performers in T20I cricket and he was one of the main architects behind England’s rise in limited-overs cricket. It was expected that Buttler will feature in the ICC World T20 Team of the Decade but the jury chose Dhoni over him. Aakash Chopra further went on to elaborate that, “I am slightly intrigued because if you talk about T20Is in this decade, neither has India won anything nor has Dhoni done that well in T20Is. We are making a T20I team and it does not have players like Jos Buttler etc”. His claim does have merit as it feels that reputation has dwarfed over performance in the case of Dhoni being favoured over Buttler. But the ICC jury members too would have duly considered all the worthy contenders and arrived at a decision unanimously.
Indians who found a mention in the ICC Teams of the Decade:
While Dhoni was the skipper of both the limited-overs side, Virat Kohli was nominated the skipper of the ICC Test Team of the Decade. Kohli, Dhoni, and Rohit Sharma were the Indians who got selected in the ICC ODI Team of the Decade. Kohli, Sharma, Dhoni, and Jasprit Bumrah were part of the ICC World T20 Team of the Decade. Ravichandran Ashwin was the only Indian apart from Kohli to have featured in the ICC Test Team of the Decade. Interestingly, Kohli was the only cricketer to feature across all formats in the ICC Teams of the Decade.