Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif has heaped praise on legendary India glovesman Mahendra Singh Dhoni for changing the face of Indian cricket.
After Kapil Dev’s success in the era of 1970s and 80s, India found quite a few small town heroes but none made as much impact as Dhoni, who led India to three ICC trophy triumphs.
Speaking to Gulf News about the current wicketkeepers in world cricket, Latif said: “Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a very good ambassador of the game not only for India but for all over the world. A cool guy and that’s why India had lot of success under him. He is a very good human being too.”
Rashid, who is currently playing the role of Director of Cricket Operations for Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Karachi Kings, though feels that Dhoni isn’t the best wicketkeeper in the world right now.
“I feel De Kock is the best wicketkeeper after Jeffrey Dujon,” he added.
Highlighting the significance of fitness, Latif said it is a vital aspect of contemporary cricket.
“I believe strongly in fitness. Cricket is a skilled game but you need fitness. Awareness of the game is vital for success in international cricket. By fitness I don’t mean that as a cricketer one has to be as fit like legendary runner Usain Bolt. In cricket you also need to have mental strength,” he commented.
Latif wants everyone to sharpen their skills through hard work.
“I believe that if you have skill one can handle the pressures. It applies to every person, even a banker or any employee of an organisation. You have to strengthen your knowledge of the game,” he explained.
Rashid Latif, who has previously coached the Afghanistan cricket team, also talked about the culture of Afghanistan cricket.
“Afghanistan is totally a different team. They don’t need coaching. I feel they are very skilful players and very strong mentally. All that they need is good motivation,” Latif opined.
Although Latif admitted that he never played Twenty20 cricket, but he knows what it takes to win matches.
“I have not played T20 cricket but as I qualified as a coach, I tell the boys that winning is all about game awareness,” Rashid Latif concluded.