MS Dhoni has groomed many rookies under him during his leadership stint for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He gave India some promising bowlers like Mohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and few others who made their mark.
He continues to guide Indian cricketers even after giving up captaincy. Those who have played alongside Dhoni know him better.
Former CSK cricketer L Balaji, who is appointed as bowling coach of the franchise, spoke about Dhoni's way of evolving a bowler. "Dhoni doesn't involve much and only when a bowler is really thrown into a corner he takes over. He will give you challenges and let you be in your space to understand them. He will not compel a bowler to do something which is not the bowler's style. That I have experienced as a player. On the field, you will be handled by one of the greatest captains. Dhoni will give you the freedom. Apart from that, you will learn to swim on your own under Dhoni's leadership," Balaji said.
Dhoni has plenty to do this season with a bunch of young pacers on his side. Bowlers like Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi will get to learn a lot, thinks former CSK player S Badrinath.
"MS has the capabilities to produce (talented) cricketers. Someone like a Gony or Mohit, they went on to become the cricketers they were and it was MS who produced such cricketers. I wouldn't be surprised if MS produces such cricketers again. He analyses and assigns them specific roles and that is what makes MS standout as a leader. He identifies these cricketers, persists with them and ends up producing them," Badrinath said during a Star Sports event at the Don Bosco (Egmore) school on Thursday.
Ambati Rayudu, who is set to be a part of yellow-brigade, lauded Dhoni and called him a born leader. "He has been successful and won two World Cups for India. What more can a captain do. I think he has a knack of picking players and keeping the dressing room atmosphere really conducive to play good cricket. He is a born leader and has it in him naturally," said the 32-year-old batsman.