India’s limited overs captain MS Dhoni might not be in the groove off late, but he still is a serious force to reckon with. Dhoni, who recently played for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy against Gujarat, found able appreciation in Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel. Patel said that Dhoni was a source of inspiration for all youngsters.

“I try and pass on whatever experience I have. Obviously, today was different where I thought I didn’t want Dhoni to settle down against any off-spinner. So for part-time bowlers, I gave them one-over spells and it worked for me,” Patel said.

“We are a very young side and we have played against bigger players. Obviously, there is no bigger player than Dhoni, but we have played against Sehwag and Tendulkar for that matter. But yeah, (it is a good experience) for younger players to understand how an Indian captain plays. On this kind of wicket, if he had not been there, I think the team would have been bundled out for 120-130. But he stuck it out, he did struggle a bit, but he didn’t change at all, his expression didn’t change, his game didn’t change. There’s a lot to learn (from this) for the young players in our side,” Patel added.

 

Patel also backed Axar Patel to deliver for India when given the chance. “Honestly, I have seen him from his first game and I was very surprised that he didn’t get runs in international cricket. But I think he has tremendous talent as a batsman as well. At Ranji Trophy level he does really well and I’m sure with lot of runs behind him, once he gets another opportunity, I’m sure he’ll definitely do well because there is a lot of batting talent in him. He is as good a batter as he is a bowler. I’m sure he’ll do well in international cricket.”

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