Cricket

‘MSD, the inspiration behind keeper-captains’

Fan-boy moment: Jos Buttler considers M.S. Dhoni as an idol and a trend-setter.  

Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler believes Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the inspiration behind emergence of wicketkeeper-captains in the Indian Premier League.

In the ongoing IPL, skipper of four franchises — M.S. Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings), K.L. Rahul (Punjab Kings), Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals), Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals) — are wicket-keepers.

“I am sure MSD (Dhoni) has something to do with the sixth sense and breeding of wicketkeepers who can captain. He obviously has been a fantastic captain and there are lots of players who want to follow his footsteps,” said Buttler.

All-round view

The English wicket-keeper feels stumpers enjoy an advantage as captains as they get a 360 degree view of the proceedings.

“I think a wicketkeeper has a brilliant view of the game. That can add to your decision making as you can see first-hand how the wicket is behaving and the way bowlers are bowling,” he said.

The 30-year-old expects Samson to deliver the goods as skipper and termed compatriot Ben Stokes as the X-factor for Rajasthan. “We have lots of variety in the team this season with some world-class all rounders like Ben Stokes and Chris Morris and a new captain.

“Sanju (Samson) has a long affiliation with the franchise. He is a very calm person and likes to have fun. I am sure he would try and get across that to the team. There will be a lot of passion in his leadership.

“I strongly believe Ben Stokes will be the X-factor for our team in this season,” said Buttler.

The presence of a legend like Kumar Sangakkara, another wicketkeeper-batsman, as team director of cricket will be beneficial for RR, said Buttler.

“He (Sangakkara) has so much knowledge to share. He has vast experience of international cricket and has played the IPL too. He knows what to expect and it’s a big plus for everyone to have him around,” said Buttler.

Great experience

Buttler, who captained England in the final two ODIs of the three-match series in India recently in the absence of an injured regular skipper Eoin Morgan, said that outing was a valuable learning experience for him.

“Playing against India in India is always the biggest challenge for England team. Playing against some young Indian players was a great experience. I have enjoyed playing and captaining against India. I have learnt a lot about myself from that experience,” he said.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 10:30:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/msd-the-inspiration-behind-keeper-captains/article34297121.ece

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