Former India mental health conditioning coach Paddy Upton has opened up on why the then skipper MS Dhoni came out to bat ahead of Yuvraj Singh in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka. During the World Cup, Singh contributed with the bat and ball with 341 runs and 13 wickets respectively ahead of the final. On the other hand, Dhoni was woefully out of form with only 150 runs in eight games.
Meanwhile, the Men In Blue had lost the wicket of Virat Kohli (35) with the scorecard reading 114/3. Fans were expecting Yuvraj Singh to come out to bat given his form and the role he was given in the team during the tournament. However, to everyone’s surprise, Dhoni decided to walk out to bat with Gautam Gambhir batting on the other hand. The right-hander scored 91 not out including eight fours and two sixes to take the team over the line.
Meanwhile, after 11 years of the glory, Upton has opened up on who took the decision to promote Dhoni ahead of Yuvraj. Upton said that Dhoni came to the dressing room, where he and Gary Kirsten were sitting, and indicated that he will bat next and Kirsten just nodded in agreement.
“I often get asked about Dhoniâ€™s elevation in the batting order, him going ahead of Yuvraj. This is a first-hand recollection and not a story that I heard,” Upton wrote for Indian Express.
“To start with, Dhoni always likes to stay inside the dressing room during a game and not sit out. It was the same that day. He was behind the full glass frontage that is there at the Wankhede dressing room. Gary was sitting outside and I was right next to him. I remember distinctly, I heard a knock on the window. Gary and I turned around the same time. It was Dhoni, he indicated he was batting next. That was it. Sign language. Gary just nodded”.