MS Dhoni is one of very few genuine massive high-pressure players, Yuvraj Singh isn’t, says Paddy Upton

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Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni stitched a crucial partnership for the win in final

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MS Dhoni is one of very few genuine massive high-pressure players, Yuvraj Singh isn’t, says Paddy Upton

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SportsCafe Desk

04/07/2022

Paddy Upton has said that it was the right call to promote MS Dhoni ahead of Yuvraj Singh in the 2011 World Cup final as the former is one of those genuine massive high-pressure players while the latter isn’t. MS Dhoni scored a game-changing knock of 91 runs to help the team lift the trophy.

2011 ODI World Cup has been one of the best moments in the history of Indian cricket. Yuvraj Singh was one of the key members behind India’s title run as he scored a century and four fifties before the final. MS Dhoni, India's captain back then was struggling as he had managed to score only 150 runs in the tournament from eight matches without scoring any single half-century. 

However, in the final of the showpiece event, he took an unusual decision by promoting himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh. The move worked very well for India as Dhoni scored 91 runs and helped them win the title. India’s mental conditioning coach for the World Cup, Paddy Upton believes that it was the right decision and said that Dhoni is one of the genuine massive high-pressure players while Yuvraj isn’t. 

"…He (MS Dhoni) would do what he is the best in the world at – which is seeing a team home in a chase in the second innings in a white-ball game. He had delivered nothing in the eight games before the final. Yuvraj had done his bit, he had played his tournament. He was done, he was spent. That moment was set up for someone like Dhoni. There are very few players in the world who are genuine “massive high-pressure” players. Yuvraj Singh is not one of those, Dhoni is," Upton wrote in his column for the Indian Express.

It was a 109-run stand between Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni that turned the game towards India in the final. Gambhir was dismissed on 97 but Dhoni stayed at the crease till the end scoring 91 runs. Yuvraj walked in to bat after Gambhir was sent back to the pavilion and scored unbeaten 21 runs to win the final by six wickets. Upton also credited the understanding between Dhoni and head coach back then, Gary Kirsten for the World Cup win.

"The moment ‘t just a testimony to his leadership and courage, it spoke a lot about his relationship with Gary. Mind you, Gary didn’t have to stand up and have a conversation with Dhoni to discuss the merits and demerits of the move. It was just the two leaders of the team being on the same page. The knock on the glass, him pointing to himself, Gary’s nod… and it was done,” he wrote.

“I do remember very clearly when Dhoni walked down the stairs, I turned to Gary and said “Do you realise Dhoni is going there to fetch us the World Cup?” I had absolute conviction that Dhoni would come back with the trophy.”

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