Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan played much of his career under the captaincy of MS Dhoni and hence on Saturday was able to elaborate of how the veteran cricketer changed as a skipper between India's maiden World T20 victory in 2007 and India's 2013 Champions Trophy win in England.
Pathan said that in 2007, when Dhoni was new into the captaincy role, he was always excited and looked to control the bowlers. However, over the years and with experience, he grew calmer and allowed the bowlers to set their own field and gave them the freedom to control the proceedings.
"The team meetings were always small though, both in 2007 and 2013 during Champions Trophy, just 5 minutes meeting. The one thing which really really changed was when young MS Dhoni became a captain in 2007, he used to run from wicketkeeping to bowling end in excitement and try to control the bowler as well but by the time 2013 came he was letting the bowler control themselves rather he controlling them. He was very calm and in control," Irfan added.
Irfan also added that Dhoni eventually grew fond of spinners and realised the matches can be won with spin bowling.
"Between 2007 and 2013 he gained the experience of trusting his slow bowlers and spinner and by the time Champions Trophy came he was very clear that in crucial time he needs to get his spinners into play to win the games."
Dhoni last captained India in the 2018 Asia Cup game against Afghanistan although he had stepped down from the role back in early 2017 allowing Virat Kohli to take over the spot across formats. He had earlier left Test captaincy back in December 2014. Under him, India won 2007 World T20, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy. He is the only skipper in the world to win all three ICC trophies.
Dhoni last played for India in 2019 World Cup semifinal exit against New Zealand. There are still speculations of his return to international cricket.