“Knew MS Dhoni Would Bat Ahead Because…”: Muttiah Muralitharan On 2011 World Cup Final | Cricket

“Knew MS Dhoni Would Bat Ahead Because…”: Muttiah Muralitharan On 2011 World Cup Final | Cricket

File photo of MS Dhoni© Twitter

Former India captain MS Dhoni’s decision to bat ahead of an in-form Yuvraj Singh in the 2011 ODI World Cup final against Sri Lanka turned out to be a game-changer. Knowing the Muttiah Muralitharan challenge that awaited the Indian team, Dhoni told the then-India coach Gary Kirsten that he plans to promote himself in the batting order. The rest, as they say, is history. More than a decade after the final, Muralitharan has opened up on the episode, sharing his opinion on why Dhoni did what he did that day.

In a chat during the ODI World Cup 2023 schedule announcement show, the Sri Lanka legend revealed that he already knew Dhoni would promote himself over Yuvraj Singh because of the experience he had playing against him in the Indian Premier League. For the unversed, Dhoni and Muralitharan were teammates at Chennai Super Kings at one stage.

“I knew because Yuvraj (Singh) was not very comfortable playing me, although he was the best player in World Cup at that time, middle-order number four position. I knew because I was bowling a lot against him (Dhoni) in the nets in Chennai while playing in the IPL.

“So Dhoni knew how to play me very well. So I thought he didn’t want to give any wickets to me because I was wicketless despite bowling well,” the iconic spinner revealed.

Having faced Muralitharan a number of times in the nets, Dhoni was best accustomed to tackle the tricky spinner’s challenge.

“There was a lot of dew at that time and we couldn’t spin the ball much. Gambhir was there at the other end, so when we got the wicket, definitely I knew he will come because he knows how to play me very well as I’ve played for Chennai (Super Kings),” Murali further revealed.

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