Pakistan’s wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal has lauded his counterpart MS Dhoni and labelled the veteran the ‘best wicket-keeper batsman India has ever produced’. Akmal lauded the remarkable consistency displayed by Dhoni throughout his career and added that his achievements were unbelievable.
When MS Dhoni made his international debut back in 2004 against Bangladesh, very few, if any, expected the then-funky wicket-keeper batsman to make a mark in the game but in no time, the right-hander, through his style and his sheer weight of runs, became not just one of the mainstays in the side, but an absolute superstar. Now 39 years old, Dhoni has, till date, played close to 550 international games for the country and is widely regarded as one of the greatest wicket-keeper batsmen to have ever graced the sport.
Dhoni’s unmatched achievements have seen him be admired and appreciated even by rivals and earlier this week, Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal became the latest opponent to express his admiration for the veteran. In a YouTube chat with Sawera Pasha, Akmal, who had many a fierce battle with Dhoni during his time in the Pakistan side, opined that the veteran from Jharkhand is the greatest wicket-keeper batsman India has ever produced.
“Best wicket-keeper batsman India has ever produced, who has achieved so much for Indian cricket. It is unbelievable,” Akmal said of Dhoni in an interview with Sawera Pasha on YouTube, reported Hindustan Times.
“To maintain a 50+ average throughout your career in ODIs and play match-winning innings continuously is very tough.”
Amongst Dhoni’s favourite oppositions in international cricket was Pakistan, whom he averaged 53.52 in the 36 ODIs he played against them. Akmal, who was at the receiving end of many a brutal knock by Dhoni, recollected how the wicket-keeper batsman mauled Pakistan in the ODI series in 2006 and further added that it was incredible on Dhoni’s part that he displayed that consistency throughout his career.
“I remember he just took away the ODI series from Pakistan. The way he started against Pakistan in the A tour in Kenya and carry on the same performance till the end of his career is unbelievable.”
38-year-old Akmal concluded his praise for Dhoni by pointing out the sheer amount of accolades that the veteran won for the country during his time as skipper. Akmal noted that there are very few players like Dhoni in world cricket.
“T20, ODI World Cup, IPL trophies, Champions Trophy, he has won everything as a captain. You get very few players like MS Dhoni in world cricket,” the wicket-keeper concluded.