Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra has heaped praises on wicketkeeper-batsman and former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying that the latter is extremely calculative and not an impulsive captain on the field.
The 41-year-old’s comments came during an interaction with former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra in his show Aakashvani.
During the interaction, Chopra asked Nehra to tell about the difference in the captaincy style of Dhoni and current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Gunguly.
Nehra said tha both the former captains knew how to bring best of their players which made them good leaders.
The former Indian pacer then stated that while Ganguly had a challenge of taking the youngsters forward, Dhoni had to lead a team consisting of some very experienced players when he took over the captaincy.
“Both Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni knew how to bring the best out of their players and that is how you could be a good captain. When Ganguly took over the captaincy role, the team was rebuilding itself. If you talk about MS Dhoni. When he took over th role, he had good coach in the form of Gary Kirsten and the team was also ready. MS Dhoni had a challenge of captaining senior players in the team while Ganguly had the challenge of taking the youngsters forward,” Nehra said.
“Sourav Ganguly had supported all of his players. The good thing about him was that he used to mark his players and back them even if he had to fight with the selectors, national chairman committee or the president of the board which was a very good thing about him,” he added.
Nehra then described Dhoni as a ‘calculative captain’ who had always tried his level best to give oppotunity to many players as possible during his tenure as a skipper.
“MS Dhoni is a very calculative captain. He is not an impulsive guy, he is very cool and calm. He had also tried to give chances to as many players as possible.Dhoni formed a good partnership with Gary Kirsten and during his reign Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Zack, Yuvi, Bhajji and others were still playing. Even when he was appointed as the captain of the Indian team in 2007 for the T20 World Cup in South Africa. At that time, there were Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh in the team. It is not easy for anyone to lead a team consisting of so many senior players. So that should be appreciated. The way he handled himself and the team at that time was amazing,” he said.
“People think Dhoni doesn’t talk to players much and is an introvert. That is not the case. His room never used to remain lock in the night after matches. Anyone could walk in, order food and discuss cricketer-turned-commentator concluded.
Nehra was part of the Indian team that clinched the ICC World Cup glory in 2011 after a long gap of 28 years under the leadership of Dhoni. He has also played under Dhoni for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League in 2014-15.
Notably, Dhoni has been on an indefinite break since India’s semi-final exit at the 2019 ICC World Cup at the hands of New Zealand. He missed series against South Africa, Bangladesh and West Indies before he was also not named in the Indian squad for the series against Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand.
He was all set to make a return as a captain of the CSK in the 2020 edition of IPL, which was originally slated to take place from March 29 to May 24, but has now been postponed indefinitely by the BCCI in the wake of COVID-19.