Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan lavished praise on MS Dhoni’s leadership and asserted that his ultimate dream is to play under the captaincy of the wicket-keeper, whose tactical nous, he believes, is unmatched. Rashid further asserted that Kohli’s discipline and self-belief separates him from the rest.
Virat Kohli the captain has earnedt the reputation of being a fast bowler’s dream, but when it comes to managing the spinners, few in the history of the game have been as effective as MS Dhoni. The wicket-keeper, in Chennai Super Kings, built a dynasty using a host of slower bowlers, and it was under his leadership that both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja’s international careers took off. More recently, despite not being captain, Dhoni’s presence behind the wickets elevated the Kul-Cha (Kuldeep and Chahal) duo to the next level, and many have believed that it is not a coincidence that the two wrist-spinners have struggled post-Dhoni’s international retirement.
Rashid Khan is a spinner who generally can outwit batters without guidance from captains and wicketkeepers, but speaking on ‘Cricast’, the 22-year-old said that his ultimate dream is to play under the captaincy of Dhoni.
"I have dream that I play under MS Dhoni. Because the experience of playing with him, under him is very important. For a bowler, the role of a wicketkeeper is very important and I don't think there is anyone better than him to explain you things,” Rashid said in the ‘Cricast’ show, reported TOI.
"Every time after our matches, the discussions that I had with him have helped me. Last time he told me 'You have to be careful while fielding, you slide, throw the ball when it is not necessary, you get aggressive, because there is only one Rashid and people want to see you more. What will happen if you get injured? Keep this in mind, I tell (Ravindra) Jadeja the same thing.'"
But not just Dhoni, Rashid also reserved special praise for Virat Kohli, who dominated the 2010s decade like no other cricketer. Kohli, over the years, has conquered every bowler that bowled to him, and Rashid revealed that it is the Indian skipper’s unflinching self-belief that separates him from the rest of the cricketers in the world.
"If there is any other batsman, he will come under pressure if you bowl well to him. He will play a shot which is not his strength, like a sweep, a slog sweep or any other different stroke," Rashid said of Kohli.
"[But] Virat will follow his own process. He goes with his mind. He has his own style and he goes with that. He doesn't do anything different. I think that is why he is very successful. He has a process.
"He will respect good balls. He will punish loose balls. He has great self-belief. Some batsmen don't have self-belief. That is why they struggle. He believes in his own strength.”
Rashid also lavished praise on Rohit Sharma, who is widely renowned to be one of the most gifted batters in the world. Rashid noted that Rohit has the natural gift of ‘having extra time', and insisted that the opener is someone who ‘believes in his timing’.
"I agree he has more time (to play his shots). He has got a lot of time. I have seen very few players who have a lot of time. It is natural for some players to have that.
"The way he pulls even if it is 145 plus or 150 kmph, the way he hits, it seems the ball is 125 or 130 kmph....He doesn't hit too many powerful shots. He believes in his timing,” Rashid said of Rohit.