Dhoni’s calming influence changed complexion of games: Holding

Tags: India, West Indies, Michael Anthony Holding, Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Published on: Aug 23, 2020

West Indian legend Michael Holding has showered praises on recently-retired Indian cricketer MS Dhoni, terming him a wonderful captain and wicket-keeper batsman. Holding, who is renowned among the greatest fast bowlers of all time, stated that Dhoni’s words of wisdom had the power to change the context of a match.

“When he was captaining, you never saw him get excited. If things seemed to be slipping, he would call his players, have a chat calmly and then they would go back to wherever they were and things would automatically change, that was the kind of influence he had,” Holding said in his YouTube channel.

Holding went on to praise Dhoni’s efforts across formats, and pointed out to his excellent stats as a batsman. “What a career this man had, a fantastic one. He played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and of course lots of T20s. But let’s talk about Test and ODIs. This man made almost 5000 Test runs and remember, he’s not a pure batsman, he’s a wicket keeper. Over such a long career to be able keep wickets and do such a fantastic job is commendable,” Holding added.

According to Holding fitness was one of the keys to Dhoni’s success, which allowed him to bat like a proper batsman despite keeping consistently across formats for over a decade. “Not just in Test, think about the ODIs. To be bending down for so many years, keeping himself fit through all these years. He has close to 11 thousand runs in ODIs and after facing just about 12 thousand balls that means he’s scoring almost at a run-a-ball throughout his career. Of course in some matches we know he has scored at a better rate than a run a ball because he’s such powerful striker,” Holding further stated.

The West Indian great was also in awe of Dhoni’s six-hitting ability. In his career, Dhoni hit 229 sixes in ODIs alone. “When you think of those numbers you must be think he must have played for 40 years to have hit so many sixes and fours. But that is the nature of the man.

“When Dhoni first started to play ODIs for India that long flowing locks that we call it in the Caribbean, he looked like a maverick. He looked like someone who came out there just to destroy whatever comes in front of him and he pretty much did that,” Holding added.

Holding also hailed Dhoni for being the only skipper to have won all three ICC tournaments -- World Cup, T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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