Sport

Pat for the Indian captain

Kapil Dev describes him as a “gambler.” Imran Khan finds him “courageous.” Clive Lloyd feels that the team follows him. Allan Border admires his boldness when it comes to taking decisions.

Praise from the four World Cup-winning captains for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership qualities is not without reason. Over a period of time, Dhoni has often chosen to go with his gut-feeling instead of conventional wisdom and achieved the desired results.

In the capital for a promotional event, the quartet, along with the 1996 World Cup-winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, spoke on various aspects of the ongoing edition on Thursday.

Courageous

“The fact that Dhoni admitted (after Wednesday's semifinal) to having misread the pitch and as a result, kept (Ravichandran) Ashwin out of the final XI, shows that he is brave. It is sign of a courageous captain,” hailed Imran, a known admirer of the Indian skipper.

Lloyd found that Dhoni “was just above everyone else (when it came to captaincy). He is bold and loves to take on challenges. Let's not forget that he has some very good players who will back him to the hilt.”

Kapil, all admiration for Dhoni, said, “Don't judge his captaincy on whether he wins the World Cup or not. He is already one of the best Indian captains. Border hailed Dhoni's brave decisions and said, “Like Ponting, he is bold and I like that.”

Besides Dhoni's captaincy, the skippers shared their views on Wednesday's India-Pakistan semifinals and the prospects of Saturday's final.

Kapil and Imran agreed that both India and Pakistan did not perform to their potential at Mohali. Imran was more forthcoming and said.

Asked what would be their suggestions to Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara ahead of the final, Ranatunga said, “When our President is advising the captain, I would not like to say anything.” This immediately prompted Imran to say. “Like our Interior Minister (Rehman Malik)!”

Imran said, “The pressure of playing the semifinal is always more than that of the final. Everyone wants to be part of the final. So my suggestion is, enjoy the pressure, enjoy every moment of the final. That's the best way to perform.”

Kapil, who described Sri Lanka as a “dangerous team” with the potential to play some “extraordinary cricket”, agreed with Imran's views and said, “Just go out there and enjoy your cricket.”

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 1:20:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/Pat-for-the-Indian-captain/article14665516.ece

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