MS Dhoni wanted Piyush Chawla over Rohit Sharma for the 2011 ODI World Cup, says former selector Raja Venkat
Mumbai: MS Dhoni led the Indian team to victory in the 2011 ODI World Cup. Dhoni was fortunate with stars in the team, from Sachin Tendulkar to a young Virat Kohli, and that helped.
Years after the success, Raja Venkat, a former Bengal batter who served on the men's national team selection panel from 2008 to 2012, revealed a shocking revelation to crichistory.in. Venkat claimed that Dhoni wanted leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, which is why Rohit was not selected.
"When we sat down to pick the team, Rohit was very much in the picture." At the time, Yashpal Sharma and I were in South Africa since India was touring the country, while the other three selectors - Srikkanth, [Surendra] Bhave, and [Narendra] Hirwani - were in Chennai.
So, while we were selecting the team, numbers 1-14, the panel accepted every name. No. 15, we proposed Rohit Sharma's name. Gary Kirsten agreed that it was an excellent choice.
However, the skipper preferred Piyush Chawla. Kirsten quickly somersaulted. 'I think that's a better option,' he added. So that's how Rohit Sharma got left out, according to Venkat on crichistory.in.
Yuvraj Singh was India's standout performer at the World Cup in India. Yuvraj performed admirably with both the bat and the ball. He was named series player of the year. Dhoni was key in the final in Mumbai.
Then-Indian captain Virat Kohli also hit the game-winning six to help India win the championship.