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'MS Dhoni believed I didn’t understand Hindi, but I understood every word' says England spinner Monty Panesar

Monty Panesar in action for England
Monty Panesar in action for England
Modified 27 Aug 2020, 10:45 IST

The instructions that MS Dhoni gives standing behind the stumps have been a guiding light for a lot of bowlers and at times, amusing for the viewers.

In a recent chat with Times of India, former left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who has represented England, revealed how he listened to MS Dhoni’s comments in Hindi and acted as if he did not understand a word.

“I remember his tips to the bowlers, especially spinners from behind the stumps. Abhi thodi wide ball daalo. Abhi thoda seedha stumps pe rakho. Ye cross line khelne waala hai, seedha daalo. Ye deep mid-wicket pe chakka marega, thoda wide rakhna. (Bowl a little wide now. Now bowl straight on the stumps. He is going to play across the line, so bowl straight. He will try for a six over mid-wicket, so bowl a little wide)”, recalled Monty Panesar.

The English spinner played four Test series against India and incidentally, MS Dhoni was in the Indian team on all four occasions.

As for Panesar’s ability to understand Hindi, the spinner said that since his father had migrated to England from India, the Indian roots helped the former understand Hindi and Punjabi well.

Panesar also spoke about how he acted as if he didn't understand anything that MS Dhoni said behind stumps, but actually understood every single word.

"I can speak Hindi and Punjabi to a great extent. MSD thought I didn’t understand. I heard everything, but I also acted like MSD, as if I didn't hear anything. I heard and (then) acted as if I didn't hear anything. But I knew everything," Panesar said.

MS Dhoni could read others, but no one could read him - Monty Panesar

Panesar believes that the ability to read other people was one of MS Dhoni's greatest strengths, and the fact that no one could possibly read him was an added advantage.

"He (MS Dhoni) was very good at reading other people, but people couldn’t read him. That was another strength. You will never be able to know what is going on in Dhoni's mind when he is at the crease and India need 15 runs per over in the last three overs. And he gets it. How does he do it? That's MSD's secret," Panesar added.

Panesar made his Test debut for England against India in March 2006, and is famously remembered for dismissing Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Kaif in his maiden Test.

The left-arm spinner has played 50 Tests, 26 ODIs and 1 T20I for the England national team since his debut.

Published 27 Aug 2020, 10:45 IST
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