Former Australia and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsman Matthew Hayden strived to put together in words what his ex-teammate and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni means to the game of cricket. Hayden hailed Dhoni among the finest to have ever played this sport and said that he is an "era of cricket" himself.
"You know Dhoni, he is not just a player, he is an era of cricket. In many ways, I think MS is like the captain of the gully cricket team, he is one of us, he will do anything," Hayden, commentating during the IPL, told Star Sports. "You see how he warms up, he bowls his leg-spinners, he catches, he asks players and people around the squad on how they are doing and he is so relaxed, I think we can all relate to him because we all have busy lives working around with friends and families and that's a big commitment."
"So, someone like that at the helm will make you feel calm, will make you feel relaxed and that's why Thala Dhoni that word 'Thala', obviously meaning the leader of Chennai, but you it's almost like the leader of a nation."
Hayden locked horns with MS at the international level till retiring in 2009, but then went on to play under his captaincy for a while in the IPL.
Dhoni was outstanding in his various roles once again for CSK, leading the troops astutely, besides making huge contributions with the bat and gloves in this season. He accumulated 416 runs at an average of 83.20 and a strike-rate of 134.63 in his 12 innings.
Under Dhoni's captaincy, CSK once again maximised its resources and finished the league stage at second position in the points table apart from winning the Qualifier 2 versus Delhi Capitals. But the year eventually ended with disappointment for the team as it lost the thrilling final against Mumbai Indians by just 1 run in Hyderabad on Sunday (May 12).
(Inputs from PTI)