File image of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni.(PTI)
File image of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni.(PTI)

‘We thought we would run through them’: Shoaib Akhtar reveals how Yuvraj, Dhoni changed India

“When we toured India in 1998, we always thought we would run through India after getting the top order. There was no match winner until Yuvraj came in, followed by Dhoni,” Akhtar said.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON APR 12, 2020 03:58 PM IST

Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar on Sunday said that the Indian team saw a change after Yuvraj and Dhoni came into the team. He further added that the current Indian team under Virat Kohli needs match-winners in the middle-order like these two to win ICC tournaments. “Winning tournaments is one thing but staying at top is another. India is still the top-ranked Test team and is almost among the top teams in the limited-overs format. So, we should not base their performance only on their showing in ICC events,” Akhtar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

“Of course, they should win ICC events and they have to. This team, when the top four score, they win more often than not. But if they don’t, then it is an issue. Another thing I noticed is that you need a match-winner like Yuvraj (Singh) or Dhoni in the middle-order,” he further explained.

Also read: ‘Only stats he is worried about is win/loss column’: Former England captain lauds Virat Kohli

“When we toured India in 1998, we always thought we would run through India after getting the top order. There was no match winner until Yuvraj came in, followed by Dhoni,” he added.

“Then you started seeing change in results. Right now, the problem is lack of finishers,” the 44-year-old further opined.

Also read: Former chairman of selectors picks wicket-keeper for T20 World Cup

The duo of Yuvraj and Dhoni are credited for India’s T20 World Cup win in 2007 and ODI World Cup win in 2011. While the rest of the team including players like Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag, also made remarkable contributions, things could have been different for India if not for Yuvraj and Dhoni who played the role of finishers for the team in the middle-order.

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