Since MS Dhoni retired from Cricket, the world has been talking about him and singing his praises. Not just the fans but the current and former cricketers have been praising him as well. They have been talking about the fact as to how Dhoni has changed the sport. He has also brought in some new tricks and tactics and his planning and cool-head have been brilliant to watch.
One more player who recently went on to comment on MS Dhoni and his tactical mind was former England spinner Monty Panesar. The bowler has been quite vocal since he stopped playing and focused more on analysis.
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Keeping that in mind, he made a stunning revelation about MSD and understanding his tactics on the pitch. Dhoni had a lot of special tricks up his sleeve during his days in international cricket. Those times may now be behind him. Yet, a lot of cricketers and former cricketers remember them fondly.
Apart from his under-arm flicks and quick dismissals, the former Indian skipper also planned a lot of tactics in each game. He was a real think-tank and this was even acknowledged by Panesar as well. Many individuals have come out and said a lot of things about MSD. Monty too was asked a few questions about the same in a recent interview.
The former England-international told Timesofindia.com, “MS Dhoni was a very calm guy. He would not say much. I think he was a great judge of nonverbal communication on the pitch. He was just a great reader of the things happening around him. You go and say something, he will not reply to those. Despite that, be ready when he will come to bat or set a field for you.”
“I always remember his tips to the Indian bowlers, especially those to the 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 wide. Now try to bowl straight. Will hit across the line. Will try to hit a six to deep mid-wicket. Keep it wide.)”
The spinner went on to add that he can speak both Hindi and Punjabi. Due to this, he had an advantage in understanding what MS Dhoni was saying. To add to that, he used this to his benefit and made the most out of it.
He went on to add, “MSD thought I did not understand what he was saying. I heard everything and understood what he said. However, I also acted like MSD, as if I did not hear anything. I heard and acted. But I knew everything.”
Monty’s father had moved from Punjab to Luton in England back in 1979. Due to this, he was still well-versed with the Indian language and made the most out of it. He was impressed by Dhoni’s calm nature and the way that he handled things in a cricket-match.
He concluded by saying, “Believe me, MSD has done this a number of times and gotten wickets. That is what I love about him. I am proud that I have played against him.”
Monty Panesar played 50 Tests and 26 ODIs for England. He was a character that was liked on the pitch and has a positive presence off of it as well. Though he hasn’t officially announced his retirement yet, he has seen his fair share of ups and downs in recent times. He is 38 at present and played his last Test series for his country against Australia back in 2013.
The spinner had made his debut against India in 2006 in Nagpur. It has been the case that the England national team likes to introduce young talented spinners on Indian-spin-friendly pitches. That was also the case with Monty.
At that point of time, the Indian team was under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid. It was probably not the best phase for India. However, there was no lack of fighting spirit and the team wanted to prove a point.
Talking about his favourite MS Dhoni moment, he went on to talk about the time when he dropped Dhoni’s catch in Mumbai. He totally misjudged it and made a fool out of himself, as it could have been a costly miss.
Luckily for him, that was not the case in that cricket-match. Despite his dropped catch, it didn’t cost the team too much. He caught another one a couple of deliveries later and sent Dhoni back to the pavilion. That’s how cricket is and that is why we love this game.
A zero at once instance, becomes a hero in another. Even Monty accepted and acknowledged the same and went on to add, that this moment made his day if not his match. It was a make-or-break campaign for him and he eventually came out on top. The result, a fairly good career for England. That is how he remembers MS Dhoni and his best moment with the recently retired cricketer.
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