Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)
In cricket, a captain’s responsibility becomes crucial to take his team ahead. As a leader, he should make important decisions that could help his other teammates do well. In the 2007 World Cup, when India lost to Bangladesh in their first game, captain Rahul Dravid came to bat at number seven against Bermuda in the next contest to help other batters to accelerate the innings.
Dravid used to be an upper middle-order batter those days but on that day, he sacrificed his position to help India put a colossal score on the board. Following this incident, there have been a few incidents when Indian skippers have come out to bat at unusual positions in their careers.
Here are the three Instances when Indian captains batted at unexpected spots
3. Rahul Dravid vs Pakistan in the 2006 Lahore Test
Rahul Dravid. (Photo Source: AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
Rahul Dravid was one of the most difficult batters to face for bowlers in Test cricket. Serving the Indian Test team, Dravid scored more than a majority of runs for the team as a number three batter. During India’s tour of Pakistan in 2006, captain Dravid came to bat as an opener along with Virender Sehwag in the first Test in Lahore.
Before India’s batting, Pakistan had declared their innings on 679/7, batting first after winning the toss. Following the massive total, Sehwag and Dravid took the host’s bowling unit to the cleaners with their aggressive batting. Sehwag played an unbeaten knock of 254 off just 247 deliveries while the skipper displayed class with his extraordinary innings of unbeaten 128 off 233.
Riding on the excellent knocks of both players, India scored 410 but the intervention of rain concluded the match in a draw. During those days, India were experimenting a lot with their batting order and following that, Dravid decided to don the role of an opener.
2. Rohit Sharma vs West Indies in the 2023 Barbados ODI
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)
India toured the West Indies in 2023 and after a Test series win, the visitors locked horns with the Caribbeans in the first ODI in Barbados. India skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field first. Riding on the sensational bowling performances of Ravindra Jadeja (3/37 in six overs) and Kuldeep Yadav (4/6 in three overs), India bundled out the hosts on 114.
India chose Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill to follow the low total as captain Rohit decided to give a chance to youngster Kishan to take the responsibility and produce a solid knock. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Kishan scored a half-century but Shubman was dismissed after scoring only seven.
After Shubman’s dismissal, Rohit was expected to come out but the India skipper sent Suryakumar Yadav at number three. In the end, India pocketed the game comfortably with five wickets in hand and Rohit came to bat at number seven and contributed an unbeaten 12 off 19 to take his side home along with Jadeja.
1. MS Dhoni at number five in the 2011 ICC World Cup
MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)
India lifted the World Cup in 2011 and in this crucial victory, MS Dhoni played a vital role with his captaincy and batting. In the final match against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium, India were in enormous pressure to win the game. Sri Lanka skipper Kumara Sangakkara won the toss and put his team to bat first.
Sri Lanka scored 274/6 in their 50 overs, with the help of veteran Mahela Jayawardene’s unbeaten ton. Pursuing the total, India lost the important wicket of Virender Sehwag on the second delivery. After the fall of Sehwag, Sachin also went back to the pavilion after scoring only 18 off 14. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli stitched an 83-run partnership but with the latter’s wicket on 114, India found themselves in trouble.
Following the loss of three wickets, in-form Yuvraj Singh was expected to walk into the middle but Dhoni decided to promote himself in the batting order in the huge game. Coming out at number five, the dashing wicketkeeper batter supported Gambhir and built a 109-run partnership with him to help India have control in the match. Gambhir got dismissed on 97 but Dhoni continued his good work and took the game home for the Men in Blue with his unbeaten knock of 91 off just 79.