Legendary Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan lauded India-wicketkeeper batsman MS Dhoni for his captaincy skills. Murali said the best part about Dhoni’s captaincy was that he trusted the bowler and gave him the freedom to set his own field. “Definitely he was a young captain, I would say. It was in the 2007 World Cup that he captained and won. But his theories are very nice to see. Because he will give the ball to the bowler and tell him to set the field and bowl. If it wasn’t working, then he would ask them to give a chance to the field he sets,” Murali told India off-spinner R Ashwin on his Youtube chat show DRS with Ash.
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Murali, who has played under Dhoni’s leadership in IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK), said Dhoni would sometimes clap for the bowler when a good ball was hit for a six.
“He (Dhoni) will clap if a good ball gets hit for a six. He’ll tell the bowler that it’s a good ball, and it doesn’t matter if the batsman has hit you for a six. Batsmen too have the talent to hit,” said Murali.
Murali, who picked up 40 wickets while playing under Dhoni in three seasons of IPL between 2008 and 2010, said Dhoni would take the bowler alone to tell him what to do instead of doing it in public.
“So with that kind of appreciations, he’ll call you alone, to tell you what’s needed instead of doing it in pubic because of those qualities, he has been so successful,” added Murali.
Further explaining Dhoni’s qualities as a leader, Murali, who has more than 1300 international wickets – the most – to his name, said Dhoni always listened to the advice of seniors even at a young age.
“He has the ability to think calmly, it’s because of these plus points that he became such a good leader. Even when he was young, he’d listen to advice (from seniors). He’ll listen to people and then he’ll make the decision at the end of the day. That’s how he used to captain.
“But more than that, he wouldn’t care about how players bat in the IPL. But he wants the players who can win the match for you. That’s how he went about his business,” Murali added.