Was expecting to captain India in T20 World Cup before MS Dhoni’s name was announced: Yuvraj Singh

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MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh

Former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has revealed that he expected to be made the captain when a young Indian side sans Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Rahul Dravid contested for the inaugural T20 World Cup back in 2007. 

Yuvraj recalled India’s shocking exit from the 50-over World Cup, just months before the T20 spectacle was set to unfold in South Africa. In the absence of senior members, Yuvraj was hoping to take charge before MS Dhoni was chosen for the role. 

A young Indian brigade, with Dhoni at the helm, defeated Pakistan in the final to become the champions. Yuvraj’s onslaught versus Stuart Broad where he hammered the England paceman for six sixes in an over was probably the highlight of the tournament. 

“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 said on the 22 Yarns podcast.

Yuvraj, however, said that he supported Dhoni as he would’ve done for any other player. The tournament was the start of Dhoni’s meteoric rise in world cricket. Four years later, Dhoni lifted the 2011 World Cup as India defeated Sri Lanka in the final and later went on to clinch the 2013 Champions Trophy in England. 

“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’,” Yuvraj added.

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