The world-famous cricket umpire Simon Taufel also known for his deeper understanding of cricket whose started his career of umpiring at the age of 24 as a club umpire and umpired for 17 years even winning the best umpire award for five consecutive years in the international arena.
Taufel also officiated in the 2011 World Cup finals but was unable to do it for many other finals of ICC events since his country Australia played in those finals thereby depriving him officiating as the home umpire is not allowed. His knowledge of cricket saw him taking the role of ICC’s umpire performance and training manager.
Simon recently spoke on the best cricketing brain he had seen during his umpiring career on the podcast, 22 yarns with Gaurav Kapur. The debate on the person having the best cricketing brain is going on for a long period.
Simon Taufel photo
Simon Taufel: Darren Lehmann,Shane Warne and MS Dhoni have the best cricketing brain
The former umpire, Simon Taufel interacted with a lot of cricketers during his tenure but picked up Darren Lehmann, Shane Warne and former Indian skipper MS Dhoni to have the best cricketing brain, besides applauding Dhoni’s sense of humour and calmness maintained by him on the field.
According to him, MS Dhoni is not only calm, relaxed apart from having a good sense of humour and been praised by ‘cricket pundits’ for knowledge of cricket and his directions behind the stumps have always helped spinners.
Recently, leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav said that with Dhoni behind the stumps, no coach was needed. The former captain stayed the skipper for almost a decade and changed his decisions based on gut feelings which changed the course of the match.
“MS Dhoni, I find him amazing. He’s got one of the best cricket brains I’ve ever come across – [him], Darren Lehmann and Shane Warne would be the top three cricket brains that I’ve been fortunate to come across. MS Dhoni is so calm – he’s so relaxed – but he’s also got a sense of humour that most people wouldn’t get to see,” he said.
Unlike MS Dhoni, Lehmann has not captained Australia and Warne has led in only 11 ODIs
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has captained India from 2007 to 2016 including being test skipper from 2008 to 2014. He is the only captain to win all ICC trophies. Dhoni has won 27 out of 60 tests he captained for India and has most wins 41 in T20Is as captain out of 72 matches.
However, Taufel’s other pick Darren Lehmann has never captained his side Australia and spinner Warne has only led in 11 one day internationals but stayed as deputy most of the time since his behaviour outside cricket denied him becoming full-time permanent skipper.
The leg spinner also led Rajasthan Royals to an incredible win in the inaugural 2008 Indian Premier League while Lehmann became coach of Australia before resigning after the infamous ball-tampering case.
He stepped down as head coach after the fourth test match versus South Africa in March 2018 following the scandal and was originally thought to be involved, but was finally cleared of blame after the conclusion of an investigation by Cricket Australia.