Say what you may about Greg Chappell’s infamous run as India’s head coach from 2005 to 2007, he has always spoken highly of MS Dhoni and what he brought to the table even when he was only a year into his international career.
When MS Dhoni burst on to the Indian cricket as a 23-year-old in December of 2004, people were in awe of his power hitting. But over the years, the dynamic hitter from India went on to become a lot of calculated and injected maturity in his batting. Of course, the responsibility of captaining the team had its own reasons behind it, but the fact that Dhoni finished with over 10000 ODI runs shows that it was a result of years of evolution with time that the former India captain reached a level which many struggle to.
Dhoni began his international career under Sourav Ganguly and John Wright, before showing glimpses of the ‘finisher’ in him during the Rahul Dravid-Greg Chappell era. Say what you may about Chappell’s infamous run as India’s head coach from 2005 to 2007, he has always spoken highly of Dhoni and what he brought to the table even when he was only a year into his international career.
Many things make Dhoni stand out from the rest, but the one trait which Chappell highlighted was the willingness and the urge of the former India captain to try things out of the ordinary. By taking chances early in his career, Chappell underlines how Dhoni sharpened himself to become one of the world’s all-time greats.
“MS Dhoni, with whom I worked in India, is a good example of a batter who developed his talent and learned to play in this fashion. By competing against more experienced individuals on a variety of surfaces early in his development, Dhoni developed the decision-making and strategic skills that have set him apart from many of his peers. His is one of the sharpest cricket minds I have encountered,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.
With Chappell as coach, Dhoni refined into one of the most explosive batters. His innings of 183 not out against Sri Lanka, unbeaten and 72 not out in Pakistan and an explosive 96 against England stand out as some Dhoni’s most memorable knocks under the Chappell tenure.