M. S. Dhoni has a great cricketing brain, says Yuvraj Singh

“It is good to see him hitting the ball, like he used to do,” says the Punjab and India batsman.

M. S. Dhoni has been in good form with the bat of late.   -  AFP

M. S. Dhoni has a “great cricketing brain” and his presence in the Indian team is important for his decision-making abilities, Punjab and India batsman Yuvraj Singh has said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of www.livepools.com, a sports games website, he said, “I think Mahi has a great cricket brain and as a wicketkeeper, he is in the best position to monitor the game.”

Yuvraj can assess out of experience as he has 175 international matches, across formats, under Dhoni for India. This includes the the 2007 World Twenty20 and the 2011 World Cup, both tourneys lit up by Yuvraj’s match-winning performances.

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Yuvraj agreed with the notion that Dhoni brings out the best in his team-mates. He said, “He has done that fantastically over the years. He has been a great captain, is (working) with the young players and guiding Virat (Kohli) all the time. I feel his presence is very important in term of decision making. He had a fantastic tournament in Australia and it is good to see him hitting the ball, like he used to do.”

‘Great players, outstanding coach’

Yuvraj also had praise for India’s domestic team Vidarbha, which clinched its second Ranji Trophy title — in two seasons — on Thursday. Commenting on the qualities that made Vidarbha a champion squad, he said: “They have got some great players in Wasim Jaffer and Umesh [Yadav] and an outstanding coach in Chandrakant Pandit who has definitely got the best out of the team. From nowhere, they have won the Ranji Trophy twice.”

Yuvraj Singh was impressed by Vidarbha's title-winning campaign. File Photo: AFP

 

That State sides such as Vidarbha and Saurashtra — not the traditional cricketing powerhouses — reached the final reflects well on the depth of talent in domestic cricket, felt Yuvraj. “I am very impressed with Vidarbha’s progress,” he declared.

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“The other teams are improving. [Karnataka’s and Mumbai’s] days of [dominance] are in the past, [now] teams like Vidarbha have started to dominate. Saurashtra is playing well, Gujarat (the 2016-17 champion) is [also] showing quality. It is good to see [progress] in domestic cricket,” he said.