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After a humiliating run in the ICC World Cup 2007, a local boy from Jharkhand MS Dhoni was handed Team India’s leadership. Since then, the team changed its shape for all the good reasons and there is no stopping the Men in Blues. Former India cricketer Venkatpathy Raju, who was a part of the selection panel in 2007 recently opened up on preferring Dhoni ahead of other big contenders.

Leading a young bunch in the inaugural ICC World T20, Dhoni proved that he is not here to settle for less. The young side led by MS Dhoni defeated Pakistan to win the global title before leading to the pinnacle spot in the ICC Test Rankings in 2009.

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The cricketer from Jharkhand was also at the helm of things when the Indian side ended their 28-year barren run to win the ICC World Cup in 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. To back it up, India also won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 which is also the last ICC trophy they have won. MS Dhoni is the only skipper in the world to win three different ICC trophies along with bringing many accolades for his country.

However, dating back to 2007, it was a shocker for the fans when Dhoni was awarded the captaincy. Venkatpathy Raju, who was a part of that selectional panel which dumped senior cricketers like Yuvraj Singh revealed why the wicket-keeper batsman was roped in as the skipper.

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“The guiding principle for our panel was simple — only consistent performers and match-winners would be considered. Dhoni’s calmness and the way he handled things impressed all of us. It was a unanimous decision,” Raju said to Hindu. 

“The other reason for Dhoni being preferred was that several India players were returning from injuries or long breaks. Hence, we thought he was the best option, and we never had any regrets,” he concluded.