Former England spinner Monty Panesar has recalled one of MS Dhoni's great innings and praised him for his six-hitting prowess as well as his composure on the field.
Speaking to Times of India, he recalled:
“I think (when) Dhoni came into (the) reckoning was actually his hundred against Pakistan, when he was pulling Shoaib Akhtar for fours and sixes. We all were sitting and wondering - ‘Oh, how is he doing that?’”
The left-arm orthodox bowler must have been talking about MS Dhoni’s maiden Test hundred against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2006. This is because Akhtar didn’t play the match in which the former Indian skipper scored his maiden ODI hundred (also 148) against Pakistan in Vizag the previous year.
Batting at No. 6, the then 25-year-old smashed a 153-ball 148, including 19 fours and four sixes, against an attack comprising Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Abul Razzaq, Danish Kaneria and Shahid Afridi.
Monty Panesar continued:
“And then I remember bowling to him in Kolkata where he hit me for a six out of nowhere. It just went miles. Dhoni’s six-hitting ability is almost 20 metres further than the normal batsman.”
Nothing seemed to bother MS Dhoni: Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar opined that hardly any cricketer has the calm demeanour that MS Dhoni has. The 39-year-old Indian legend was always composed and seemed to be in control of things almost all the time.
According to Panesar, Dhoni's ability to stay the same throughout his career made him one of the greatest captains in the history of the game.
“I think I always found MSD very calm, collected and he always seemed like life was going at a slow pace for him. It was like nothing was bothering him. It was his calm demeanor that was his strength. Not a lot of cricketers have this quality, but he had it throughout his whole career. I think that’s what makes him such a great, great leader.”
MS Dhoni is the only captain to have won all three ICC trophies – the World T20 in 2007, the World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013. In addition, he also became the first Indian captain to guide the team to the summit of the ICC Test rankings in 2009.Published 29 Aug 2020, 21:04 IST