Former Test batsman V.V.S. Laxman was on Sunday effusive in his praise for India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who lead the team to back-to-back titles — at the Champions Trophy in England and the tri-nation series in the West Indies.
“His records (of winning all the world titles) speak for himself. He has that uniqueness to respond to a tough situation with ease. He does not involve himself much emotionally, and that’s his quality. India are lucky to have a captain like Dhoni,” Laxman said on the sidelines of a function here.
The 38-year-old batsman, who announced his retirement from international cricket in August last year, however, refused to draw comparisons between Dhoni and former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.
Ravindra Jadeja’s emergence as an all-rounder and Shikhar Dhawan’s batting prowess at the top have been two positives for the Indian cricket and Laxman feels it’s Dhoni who should be credited for finding a talent like Jadeja.
“Dhoni backed him well, especially using Jadeja as a bowler. He is also a great fielder and a handy batsman. Jadeja has emerged as a great asset to the Indian team and Dhoni should be praised,” he said.
Talking about Dhawan, Laxman said: “I mentored him during his stint at (IPL franchise) Sunrisers Hyderabad. He always had the talent and his change in approach is working well for him.”
Laxman said India, the defending champion and World No. 1 ODI side, was going in the right direction ahead of the World Cup 2015.
“The manner in which we beat England in England (in the Champions Trophy last month) was really commendable. The youngsters should also be credited for the performance. It’s a side that’s going in the right direction ahead of World Cup 2015,” he said.
Talking about India’s victory in the recently-concluded tri-series in the West Indies, Laxman said:
“Dhoni not only stayed composed but was also on top of his game. I really appreciate the way he’s instilling confidence among the young players. The credit goes to him and the team.”
Laxman also hoped that Sachin Tendulkar would do well in South Africa which is seen as the senior most India batsman’s swansong series.
Recalling India’s last (2010-11) tour to South Africa where Tendulkar notched up two hundreds in Centurion and Cape Town, Laxman said: “I’m sure he would go there with a fine memory of his two hundreds.”
“I’m sure he would have a fantastic series this time around as well,” said the stylish Hyderabadi batsman.
Wishing India all the best for the South Africa tour, Laxman said: “India would go there with the confidence of having defeated Australia 4-0 at home. But an overseas win gives you the real confidence and it teaches you a lot. I’m sure they would do well.” Laxman further hailed the Board’s initiative for an India ‘A’ tour in South Africa next month ahead of the November-January series