Remembering the 2008 selection controversy, India Former Player RP Singh said that MS Dhoni was an unbiased leader & has always pushed players ahead whom he thought would follow the plans more efficiently.
MS Dhoni has become Dhoni because of his unbiased nature & opinions”, said RP Singh while remembering a selection controversy in 2008 when the pacer bowler had lost his place in the Indian team to fellow teammate Irfan Pathan. A media report in 2008 had claimed that Dhoni wanted to pick RP Singh instead of Irfan Pathan for the home ODI series against England. Without accepting the claims of the report the former Indian Captain had called the details of selection meeting leak as quite “disgusting & disrespectful”.
Recalling the incident & his career which comprises of 14 Tests, 58 ODIs & 10 T20s, RP Singh said that he has no hard feelings over his elimination from the team. “I don’t think that I was affected by the leaked news. The England series which we are talking about, I didn’t get a single wicket in Indore. People might think that they will get 2 or 3 more chances. But it was not meant to be the same. Some get 5 chances & some get 10 chances they are lucky players”, the 34-year-old who last played for India in 2011 said to a leading media house.
“But it almost has happened with me that whenever my performance got dipped I was directly sent to paly domestic cricket. Sometimes people get the chance to stay with the team even if their performance dips & gets a good quality of practice sessions. The moment you are placed in domestic cricket, you won’t get that type of quality competition”.
He further said that Dhoni is his very good friend and he was a fair captain as their friendship never affected the former Indian Captain’s decisions for the team. “We (Dhoni) & I had a discussion about where I could improve, what I can do to get better. I know MS. Dhoni very well, friendship is a different thing but leading he country is different altogether. At that particular moment, I think that he pushed the ones who he thought were better. I think he pushed people whom he thought would follow the plans more efficiently.
“Due to his fair opinions & decisions for the team, MS.Dhoni is MS.Dhoni today. I didn’t play as much as I should have because of my speed dip & my swing dip. Everything else is a secondary thing. If I had improved then I would have played more but I am happy with whatever I have achieved during my career tenure”, said RP Singh.
Young Dhoni captained the legendary cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid & VVS Laxman. RP Singh said that Dhoni got captaincy quite early in his career for a reason.
“The Senior players should have seen something different in Dhoni. Today when we see Dhoni he has gone to another level & became a big name & had a lasting impact on world cricket. They saw his calmness, his match awareness as a keeper his batting potential & also his keeping was improving which is a great deal. But the most important thing that made Dhoni different from others is his balanced temperament, his off the field behavior. When we talk about the selection as a captain his match awareness and his sheer ability to take the game ahead have played a big role”, RP Singh added.