SYDNEY: According to Greg Chappel, the former India coach, MS Dhoni is one of the most powerful batsmen he has ever seen.
Chappell coached the Indian cricket team for 2 scandal-ridden years from 2005 to 2007 during which he clashed with several senior members of the team, especially then-captain and current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly.
His time, however, was also known for the rising success of several younger players within the squad including Dhoni and Suresh Raina.
"I vividly remember that I used to be left awestruck when I'd see him batting for the first time. He was definitely the most exciting cricketer in India at that time. He used to hit the ball from the most unusual positions. he's the most powerful batsman I actually have ever seen," said Chappell during a talk session on the Facebook handle of the Playwrite Foundation.
"I remember his knock of 183 against Sri Lanka and the way he tore them apart. it had been power hitting at its absolute best. The subsequent match was in Pune. I asked MS, ''why don't you play along the ground more rather than trying to hit every ball to the boundary''. We were chasing 260 odd and were in a very good position and Dhoni was playing contrasting innings to the one he had played just a few days before.
"We still needed 20 runs to win and Dhoni asked me, through 12th man RP Singh if he could hit sixes. I advised him to not do it until the target was in single digit. once we needed six runs to win, he finished the match with a six," he said.
In later years, Dhoni would become one amongst the most successful captains of all time, leading India to the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World Cup titles. He would also become known for the efficiency with which he managed to successfully finish run-chases together with his innings structured in the manner Chappell spoke about.
"I always used to challenge him if he could finish the game. There would always be a booming smile on his face, whenever he used to score the winning runs. He's definitely the best finisher cricket has ever seen," said Chappell.
Dhoni last played for India during the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. He was slated to guide Chennai Super Kings in the 13th IPL edition which currently stands indefinitely suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.