Former India fast bowler Javagal Srinath heaped praise on M.S. Dhoni, who retired from international cricket on Saturday. Srinath described Dhoni as a ‘comprehensive captain’ and a ‘brilliant finisher’.
“Dhoni is one of the most successful captains India has ever produced. The one quality that stands out about Dhoni is his self-belief. Winning three trophies (2007 ICC World Twenty20, 2011 ICC ODI WC, and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy) is a great achievement. That’s the first thing to consider when you talk of his legacy. The unstoppable train of confidence that you see in the Indian team now - that was started by Dhoni. I want to thank Dhoni for his contribution to Indian cricket,” Srinath told Sportstar on Sunday.
Srinath recalled being awestruck by Dhoni’s powerful batting early in his career, in a triangular tournament involving India 'A', Pakistan 'A' and Kenya in Nairobi in 2004. Dhoni turned on the heat with scores of 70, 119 n.o. and 120. A few months after his exploits in Nairobi, Dhoni made his India debut, in an ODI match against Sri Lanka.
“I was in Nairobi as a commentator. It was the first time I saw Dhoni in action. He had immense potential, which he later realised in full. He was a cut above the rest in that tournament. He scored runs at will; winning matches single-handedly,” Srinath said.
Srinath stated Dhoni read the game well - a key aspect of captaincy. “He had a plan for each bowler, and the bowler knew what was expected of him. This makes life so much easier for bowlers. Dhoni was the best reader of the game. He could sense what the batsman was going to do. Accordingly, he would decide the field setting and whom to bowl. He was a comprehensive captain. With the bat, he controlled the game like a regulator. He was a brilliant finisher. In his era, Dhoni was the man you could count on to finish a game,” Srinath said.
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