One of the most effective mind-readers the sport has ever seen: Nehra recollects taking part in with and below Dhoni | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former India pacer Ashish Nehra, who was part of the victorious 2011 World Cup squad and in addition performed for Chennai Super Kings within the IPL with the now-retired Mahendra Singh Dhoni, writes for PTI about what it meant sharing the dressing room with the reticent icon.
I first noticed Mahendra Singh Dhoni within the early winter of 2004 earlier than we had been to go to Pakistan. It was the Duleep Trophy remaining and I had a stiff again however then skipper Sourav Ganguly informed me that “Ashu, play the ultimate and inform us how you’re feeling”.
It was the match the place I first bowled to MS Dhoni and I do not keep in mind how a lot he scored however after you have performed for India, you’ve got an concept which participant could make it. What I noticed in that transient knock made me realise that he can survive in worldwide cricket.
At that point, I used to be constantly hitting 140kph and one among his strokes was a mis-hit that went for a six over third man. The sheer energy amazed me.
If you ask me about his retaining, he definitely wasn’t within the league of Syed Kirmani, Nayan Mongia or for that matter even Kiran More again then.
But with time, he received higher and when he ended his profession, he was the keeper with the quickest arms because of his sheer cricket smartness.
When he arrived in Indian cricket, he wasn’t a health club individual however had an extremely sturdy decrease physique as he performed badminton and soccer frequently.
What was my first impression when he got here into that Indian dressing room within the 2004-05 season? I might say he got here throughout an introvert and was well mannered to a fault.
Five of us — Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Zak (Zaheer Khan) and myself — had dinner collectively on most days throughout excursions. I do not recall Dhoni ever becoming a member of us. He was all the time reserved.
He would by no means go to any senior cricketer’s room and largely saved to himself. That was 2004-05 however until I final performed in 2017, he remained the identical when it got here to socialising.
Approachable however an introvert, who liked being in his personal room, which was open to all.
Probably the one cricketer, who by no means went to anybody’s room however would welcome juniors in.
You might enter Mahi’s room, choose up the cellphone, order room service, play video video games, discuss cricket, and for those who had a difficulty almost about cricket, you possibly can inform him. But sure, no outdoors gossip, no backbiting. He by no means let discussions drift that aspect.
That’s why he all the time wished points within the dressing room sorted there solely. Nothing was meant for consumption by the surface world.
His largest talent was his extremely sturdy thoughts that made him what he’s right now.
If you ask me, I’ve seen Rishabh Pant at Sonnet since he was a 14-year-old chubby child, belief me Pant at 22 has extra pure expertise than what Dhoni had as a 23-year-old in 2004, when he first performed for India.
But whether or not Pant could be as strong-willed as Dhoni will let you know if he can replicate that success.
I’ve heard the garbage about Dhoni being incommunicado when not taking part in.
He had utmost respect for all senior gamers, gave them their area and I can vouch that he dealt with the transition part fairly effectively due to his mind-reading talents.
He gave respect and therefore received respect.
It by no means occurred that he did not give a transparent image to a participant about what’s on his thoughts.
Why is he higher than the most effective? Because nobody might management feelings higher than Dhoni. What do you suppose, he by no means felt damage, insulted or offended? But he knew the way to conceal it. It’s his second nature.
He was an excellent reader of different folks’s thoughts and that is what made him among the best man-managers the sport has ever seen.
He dealt with my comeback and the part between 2009 and 2011 actually. He made me bowl the utmost overs in Powerplays and would use me in three or at instances 4 spells.
In a match the place you might be defending 325, he would inform “don’t fret for those who go for 70 runs so long as you get wickets. I’m with you.”
He ensured that selectors in that period did not resort to a variety of chopping and altering. Once you allow the sport, and sit on the selectors’ chair, you have a tendency to seek out it simpler to take pleasure in that.
He had a crystal clear concept about his go-to bowlers in slog overs, the shaky ones who might be clobbered on the demise. That’s known as thoughts studying and you may’t beat MS Dhoni on that.
If he knew {that a} participant had restricted talents, he would use him accordingly with out being pissed off or abusing him and that is management.
He knew his bowlers in T20 cricket. During my final part in worldwide cricket, he would make me bowl three overs in Powerplay and the opposite three could be by three completely different bowlers.
Even if I went for 18 within the first two, he would inform me “don’t fret, you bowl the third and if it is a 12 additionally, it is okay if a breakthrough comes alongside.”
Use of optimum sources was his energy and making high worldwide gamers like Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja has been one among his largest contributions.

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