Mahendra Singh Dhoni is regarded as one of the best wicketkeepers-batsman of all-time. The former India captain has not only been an asset for India as a hard-hitting batsman, but he has also contributed with numerous sensational catches, lightning-quick stumpings, and run-outs from behind the stumps. It was Dhoni who led India to 2007 T20I World Cup win. It was Dhoni who led India to 2011 World Cup. It was, once again, Dhoni who led India to 2013 Champions Trophy win – becoming the only Indian captain to win three ICC tournaments.
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But despite his sensational feats, former Zimbabwe captain Tatendu Taibu recalled that the first time he saw Dhoni, he thought Dinesh Karthik was a more natural wicketkeeper and batsman. Speaking on Fan Play-Sports Ruler ‘Inside Out With Baggs’ YouTube channel, Taibu explained how Dhoni, with his unique techniques to bat and keep wickets, managed to separate himself as a different player from everyone else.
“The first time I saw Dhoni, if I am to be honest, he had come with the India A side to Zimbabwe. Another person who came with him was Dinesh Karthik. They were the two keepers. I thought Karthik was more natural than Dhoni. In keeping, he was more natural, and even in batting he was more natural,” Taibu said.
Taibu then went on to talk about Dhoni’s technical prowess and said: “But I remember watching Dhoni and thinking he has got very good hand-eye co-ordination. Now, the way he (MSD) keeps, his hands are not always together like you always have the little fingers together. When he catches his hands are always not like that.
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“But he still always manages to catch the ball and whip the bails in a flash with a very different technique. It was a very different and odd technique,” Taibu added. “Same thing about his batting…different technique. But great hand-eye co-ordination. But I don’t think it’s only his hand-eye coordination but probably his mental toughness,” he further said.
“Normally if you don’t look the part, so to speak, it’s easy for coaches to just put you aside. But Dhoni backs that up with statistics. That tour in Zimbabwe, he didn’t play well. But in the next tour, I think it was in Kenya, he scored two centuries and a fifty. And that’s what probably brought him to the national team,” Taibu added.