He does not have the “grace” of a Sachin Tendulkar nor the “silky soft hands” behind stumps like Syed Kirmani but Mahendra Singh Dhoni will retire as one of India’s top three players of all-time, feels former Australian cricketer Dean Jones.
“The recent retirements of Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman have allowed Dhoni the opportunity to bat higher and show us all that his batting alone can match some of the greats. Sure he hasn’t made the runs yet, but after his epic 224 in Chennai, he has gained even more respect from the hardcore Indian fans,” Jones wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Dhoni is an enigmatic figure in Indian cricket. He doesn’t have the technique or grace of Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar or Gundappa Viswanath. Nor does he possess the silky soft hands of Syed Kirmani behind the stumps,” he opined.
Jones said despite his unorthodox style of batting and instinctive captaincy, Dhoni always seems to have a plan up his sleeves.
“Dhoni is one hell of a cricketer. He has smashed all of the leading bowlers in one game or another. His fitness levels are amazing and running between the wickets is exhilarating. He is a rare breed of cricketer, a momentum-changer,” Jones said.
“When he starts swinging, he can change the course of the match. Then, in the blink of an eye, when all things are going his way, he backs off and plays the percentages again and shuts opposition teams out.
“Most batsmen can’t control themselves when the ‘beans are going’ and get out soon afterwards. Not Dhoni. He is a cool and unflappable cricketer,” he added.