Retired Indian pacer Ashish Nehra heaped all kinds of praise on his former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni labelling his contributions to the team as invaluable and appreciating his well-known captaincy skills. Zaheer Khan has also supported his claims and marvelled on Dhoni’s vast experience.
A legend in every right and an important part of the Indian cricket history especially in the limited-overs format, Mahendra Singh Dhoni today become the second highest capped player in ODIs for India. Playing his 341st game for the Men in Blue in the 50-over format, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra took the opportunity to reminisce on what made the wicket-keeper batsman so special and could not help but praise what he has given to the game.
“When you have played the game so long, more than half of them as captain, the experience enhances your perspective of the game. He has gone through so many different situations, from so many different angles, he knows how to handle every circumstance and we never see him under any kind of pressure. It very rarely happens that Dhoni does not do what do in a particular situation, so that has always been a strength of his and the records only keep making it better,” Zaheer said in a podcast for Cricbuzz Live.
Commonly known by teammates and fans alike as Captain Cool, Dhoni had led the team containing the two coveted pacers to what was only the country’s second World Cup and their first in 28 years. Ashish Nehra has had the chance to observe him from very close quarters for years having spent a lot of time playing under his guidance, both in national colours and while playing for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
“As a game goes on, Dhoni adapts himself accordingly and that is what I love about him. That is why I always want him to bat at number four. There is a kind of batsman that lets the game go on as it is and the other tries to control the game. You always want the second type.
"Even when Kohli is on the other end and the scoreboard reads 100/2, Dhoni will tell him to target 250 and not 300, because he knows that way the team will eventually get to the score they want. He knows there are players like Kedhar Jadhav, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya to follow him, so he provides a lot of support to the team and everyone will realize all this only when he is gone,” the pacer said of the batsman.
The two had also discussed how Dhoni had managed to stay so fit over the years and had rarely missed a game because of physical issues, with Nehra going so far to call him at par with Kohli when it comes to it.
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