Former India pacer Irfan Pathan feels that MS Dhoni had become a lot more relaxed as captain in the 2013 Champions Trophy compared to the T20 World Cup in 2007, the 38-year-old’s first series leading the side.
Pathan was part of Dhoni’s victorious sides in both the ICC events, most notably earning the Player of the Match award in the T20 World Cup final in Johannesburg. Pathan was only a squad player in 2013 with India once again emerging victorious in a nail-biting contest. India defeated hosts England by five runs in Birmingham. Dhoni’s side had defeated Pakistan in 2007 by the same margin.
“He was much more calmer in 2013,” Pathan said in Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
“In 2007 it was the first time [Dhoni was captaining India] and you understand that when you’re given a big responsibility of leading the country, you always get excited about certain things. Obviously, the [team] meetings were always smaller even in 2007 and in 2013 Champions Trophy as well; we still had five-minute meetings.”
Pathan said that Dhoni had more trust in his bowlers, especially the spinners, in 2013, where he became the first captain to win a World Cup, T20 World Cup and a Champions Trophy – the marquee ICC events.
The left-armer said: “One thing that has really changed and that happens with experiences, when young Mahendra Singh Dhoni became a captain in 2007, he used to run from the wicket-keeping end to the bowler in excitement and try to control the bowler as well.
“By 2013, he was letting the bowler control the game rather he controlling them.”
Pathan added: “By the time the 2013 Champions Trophy took place, he had started trusting his slow bowlers; he used to always trust his spinners, and I think by this time [Champions Trophy] he was very clear that he needs to get his spinners into play to win games.”
Watch Irfan Pathan talk about MS Dhoni here: