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Indian veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has heaped praise on the captaincy of MS Dhoni. The experienced off-spinner from Punjab revealed MS Dhoni is not a captain who forces his ideas on the bowlers. Harbhajan revealed that Dhoni will only provide instructions if he feels that the bowler is running out of ideas. Thus, Dhoni is always known to give the freedom to his bowlers to bowl according to their fields.
In fact, Dhoni is known to stay ahead of the opposition batsman. Many times it has been noticed that Dhoni has been able to predict what the batsman is trying to do and he will alert his bowler that this can happen. Dhoni’s instructions can be often heard on the stump mic when he says, ‘Thoda upar daal skte hai or agli ball pe marne ki koshish krega, thodi bahar daal skte hai (You can pitch the ball up or next ball he may try to hit, you can wider).
MS Dhoni is known to stay two steps ahead in the game.
These are mainly instructions and not orders, as Dhoni is known to get the best of his bowlers. He is known to read the batsman’s minds and mostly his predictions are right on the money.
“He is not a captain who says, do this, do that. He wants you to do what you know you can do. Bowl what you know you can. If you can bowl six offspinners, do that,” Harbhajan told ESPNcricinfo.
“Yes, he has nudged me at times – from behind the stumps or at a change of overs – saying, this guy is trying to do this or will try this. But he never tells me what to do,” he added.
On the other hand, Harbhajan Singh recalled an incident when Shardul Thakur was taking a beat in the IPL. Singh recommended MS Dhoni that he should have a chat with the fast bowler but the CSK captain refused as he thought Thakur will get even more confused. CSK had already qualified for the playoff stages and thus Dhoni decided not to offer any advice to Shardul Thakur.
MS Dhoni is brilliant with his tactics.
“Once Shardul Thakur was bowling in Pune. He was getting hit every ball. First ball four, second ball six. I went to Dhoni and told him, ‘Why don’t you tell him [Thakur] to change the angle or push a fielder back?’,” Harbhajan said.
“As if he had all the time in the world, Dhoni said to me, ‘Bhajju pa, if I tell him anything now, he will get confused. Khaane do.’ [Let him get hit.] He knew we could afford to get hit because we had already qualified for the playoffs.”
“He [Dhoni] said, ‘When he [Thakur] feels there is no option left, then I can tell him he could try doing this.’ So Dhoni will not tell you until you realize you are short of ideas,” the 39-year-old said.
MS Dhoni is known to get the best out of his players and he has all the experience under his belt. MS has led CSK to three IPL titles.