Former India player and chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil admires MS Dhoni a lot.
He said, “I have spoken of Dhoni umpteen times and I will continue to talk about him and his journey in years to come. One can write columns on MS Dhoni’s epic journey and with every game he plays, Dhoni gives us more and more to write about. For me, Dhoni is like the classic Hindi film Mughal-E-Azam – it never gets old, and you can watch it on repeat.”
“I actually saw Dhoni for the first time while he was playing for India A against Chandrakant Pandit’s India Under-19 team. I still remember him batting at No. 7 and scoring a quick-fire 36. I remember telling Chandrakant that there was something different about him,” he continued.
Patil said that Dhoni reminded him of his own innings in England when he scored 129* and played helicopter shot against Jeff Miller.
Patil said that Dhoni is the best no.4 batsman for India, “Dhoni’s style of batting, his self-confidence, his ability to remain cool in difficult situations, the art of keeping all team members together and, of course, his top performances when the Indian team needed him the most make him an all-rounded player. For me, Dhoni was always the best pick for a No. 4 batsman. When you talk about a No. 4 batsman in World Cricket and all the greats who have played at the spot, Dhoni is as good as anybody in the limited overs format.”
Sandeep Patil called MS Dhoni the greatest Indian captain ever.
He said, “In 1983, Kapil Dev won the first World cup for India but Dhoni’s achievements are far bigger. He not only captained India to the 2011 ICC World Cup title but also led the team to its first-ever T20 World Cup win, the Champions Trophy win and also guided India to the top spot in ICC test rankings. All this put together, in my opinion, make him the best captain India has ever seen.”
Sandeep Patil also called him the greatest wicket-keeper he has ever seen.
Patil says, “Everybody talks about his helicopter shot and his match-winning abilities, but for me, his greatest ability is the way he keeps wickets. Wicket-keeping, in fact, is mostly considered a big punishment – doing thousand of sit-ups, diving left and right, ensuring brilliant stumping, affecting run-outs, taking all blows on their fingers and bodies and still keeping oneself absolutely fit, Dhoni aces it.”
Sandeep Patil said, “It is very difficult to read Dhoni’s mind as he hardly shows any emotion after winning or losing. He has earned tremendous respect from all over the world not only because of his exploits on the field but because of his gentlemanly behavior both on and off the field. He is the role model not only for Indians but also for foreign cricketers as well. He has done us all proud.”
In his parting words, Patil wishes Dhoni saying, “Dhoni continues to grow, sustaining his position as the darling of the entire cricketing World. Good luck Mahi!”
(With inputs from The Quint)