Ex-India selector reveals MS Dhoni dropped Rohit Sharma for 2011 WC
MS Dhoni captained the Indian team to victory in the 2011 ODI World Cup held in India. With players like Sachin Tendulkar and a young Virat Kohli on his side, Dhoni was fortunate to have a constellation of stars in his team that significantly contributed to their success.
Several years after the illustrious triumph, Raja Venkat, a former Bengal cricketer and a member of the selection panel for the men’s national team from 2008 to 2012 made a startling revelation during an interview with RevSports. Venkat disclosed that the decision to include leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was at the behest of Dhoni, which consequently led to the non-selection of Rohit Sharma.
“When we sat to select the team, Rohit was very much in the scheme of things. Yashpal Sharma and I were in South Africa at that time because India was touring South Africa, and the other three selectors – Srikkanth, [Surendra] Bhave and [Narendra] Hirwani – were in Chennai."
Rohit Sharma's name was backed by coach Gary Kirsten
"So, when we were selecting the team, numbers 1-14, every name was accepted by the panel. No. 15, we suggested the name of Rohit Sharma. Gary Kirsten also felt it was a perfect selection. But the captain wanted Piyush Chawla. So immediately, Kirsten somersaulted. He said: ‘I think that’s a better choice.’ So, that is how Rohit Sharma got left out,” Venkat added.
The 2011 World Cup held in India showcased Yuvraj Singh as a standout performer for the Indian team. Displaying prowess with both bat and ball, Yuvraj emerged as a pivotal figure. His exceptional contributions earned him the prestigious title of Player of the Series. In the final match held in Mumbai, Dhoni played a crucial role, culminating in his iconic six that secured India's victory in the tournament.