NEW DELHI: Former India pacer Ashish Nehra, who was a part of the victorious 2011 World Cup team and likewise played for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL with the now-retired Mahendra Singh Dhoni, composes for PTI about what it meant sharing the dressing space with the reticent icon. I first saw Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the early winter of 2004 prior to we were to go to Pakistan. It was the match where I initially bowled to MS Dhoni and I dont keep in mind how much he scored but when you have actually played for India, you have a concept which player can make it. If you ask me, I have seen Rishabh Pant at Sonnet since he was a 14-year-old chubby kid, trust me Pant at 22 has more natural talent than what Dhoni had as a 23-year-old in 2004, when he first played for India. I have heard the rubbish about Dhoni being incommunicado when not playing.
NEW DELHI: Former India pacer Ashish Nehra, who was a part of the victorious 2011 World Cup squad and also bet Chennai Super Kings in the IPL with the now-retired Mahendra Singh Dhoni, writes for PTI about what it indicated sharing the dressing space with the reticent icon. I initially saw Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the early winter of 2004 before we were to go to Pakistan. It was the Duleep Trophy final and I had a stiff back however then skipper Sourav Ganguly told me that “Ashu, play the final and tell us how you feel”. It was the match where I initially bowled to MS Dhoni and I do not remember how much he scored but once you have actually bet India, you have a concept which gamer can make it. What I saw because quick knock made me realise that he can make it through in worldwide cricket. At that time, I was consistently striking 140kph and one of his strokes was a mis-hit that chose a six over 3rd guy. The large power astonished me. If you ask me about his keeping, he certainly wasnt in the league of Syed Kirmani, Nayan Mongia or for that matter even Kiran More back then. However with time, he improved and when he ended his profession, he was the keeper with the quickest hands due to his large cricket smartness. He wasnt a fitness center person however had an exceptionally strong lower body as he played badminton and football regularly when he got here in Indian cricket. What was my very first impression when he entered that Indian dressing room in the 2004-05 season? I would say he encountered an introvert and was respectful to a fault. Five people– Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Zak (Zaheer Khan) and myself– had supper together on most days throughout tours. I dont remember Dhoni ever joining us. He was constantly scheduled. He would never go to any senior cricketers space and mostly kept to himself. That was 2004-05 but till I last played in 2017, he stayed the very same when it pertained to socialising. Friendly however an introvert, who loved being in his own room, which was open to all. Probably the only cricketer, who never went to anyones room however would welcome juniors in. You could get in Mahis room, get the phone, order space service, play video games, talk cricket, and if you had an issue with concerns to cricket, you might inform him. But yes, no outside chatter, no backbiting. He never let discussions wander that side. Thats why he constantly wanted concerns in the dressing space sorted there only. Absolutely nothing was meant for consumption by the outdoors world. His most significant skill was his incredibly strong mind that made him what he is today. If you ask me, I have actually seen Rishabh Pant at Sonnet since he was a 14-year-old chubby kid, believe me Pant at 22 has more natural skill than what Dhoni had as a 23-year-old in 2004, when he first played for India. Whether Pant can be as strong-willed as Dhoni will tell you if he can replicate that success. I have actually heard the rubbish about Dhoni being incommunicado when not playing. He had utmost respect for all senior players, provided their space and I can vouch that he managed the transition phase pretty well because of his mind-reading capabilities. He offered respect and hence got regard. It never took place that he didnt provide a clear picture to a gamer about whats on his mind. Why is he better than the very best? Since no one could control feelings much better than Dhoni. What do you think, he never ever felt hurt, insulted or upset? But he understood how to hide it. Its his 2nd nature. He was an excellent reader of other individualss mind and thats what made him one of the best man-managers the game has actually ever seen. He managed my comeback and the stage in between 2009 and 2011 actually. He made me bowl the maximum overs in Powerplays and would use me in 3 or sometimes four spells. In a match where you are defending 325, he would inform “dont fret if you opt for 70 runs as long as you get wickets. I am with you.” He ensured that selectors because age didnt turn to a great deal of changing and chopping. Once you leave the game, and sit on the selectors chair, you tend to discover it much easier to enjoy that. He had a crystal clear concept about his go-to bowlers in slog overs, the unsteady ones who could be clobbered at the death. Thats called mind reading and you cant beat MS Dhoni on that. If he knew that a player had limited capabilities, he would use him accordingly without being annoyed or abusing him whichs leadership. He knew his bowlers in T20 cricket. Throughout my last stage in international cricket, he would make me bowl 3 overs in Powerplay and the other 3 would be by 3 different bowlers. Even if I went for 18 in the first 2, he would tell me “do not worry, you bowl the third and if its a 12 also, its all right if a breakthrough comes along.” Usage of optimal resources was his strength and making top global gamers like Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja has been among his greatest contributions.