Michael Holding, former West Indian fast bowler-turned commentator, has heaped high praise on the recently retired former Indian World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni.
MS Dhoni recently called time on his decorated 16-year-old international career via an Instagram on the 73rd anniversary of India’s Independence Day. Holding, who was part of the famed quartet of fast bowlers of the great West Indian team of the late 1970s and 1980s, said Dhoni’s calm words would sometimes change the course of the game towards the Men in Blue.
“When he was captaining, you never saw him get excited. If things seemed to be slipping, he would call his players, have a chat calmly, and then they would go back to wherever they were and things would automatically change, that was the kind of influence he had,” Michael Holding said on his official Youtube channel
“What a career this man had, a fantastic one. He played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs, and of course lots of T20s (98 for India and 190 in IPL). But let’s talk about Test and ODIs. This man made almost 5000 Test runs and remember, he’s not a pure batsman, he’s a wicketkeeper. Over such a long career to be able keep wickets and do such a fantastic job is commendable,” he said.
‘He was always in control’- Michael Holding on MS Dhoni
Michael Holding also went on to laud MS Dhoni for his astounding fitness and the number of runs and sixes he smashed, especially in ODI cricket.
“Not just in Test, think about the ODIs. To be bending down for so many years, keeping himself fit through all these years… He has close to 11 thousand runs in ODIs and after facing just about 12 thousand balls that means he’s scoring almost at a run-a-ball throughout his career. Of course in some matches we know he has scored at a better rate than a run a ball because he’s such powerful striker,” said Holding.
“Throughout his career he hit 229 sixes (in ODIs). When you think of those numbers you must be think he must have played for 40 years to have hit so many sixes and fours. But that is the nature of the man,” he added.
MS Dhoni burst on the scene in late 2004 with what Michael Holding described as ‘long flowing locks’ with a penchant for destroying the bowling attacks courtesy his ferocious hitting, something the ‘Whispering Death’ reminisced during the video.
“When Dhoni first started to play ODIs for India that long flowing locks that we call it in the Caribbean, he looked like a maverick. He looked like someone who came out there just to destroy whatever comes in front of him and he pretty much did that,” Holding added.
Holding also lauded MS Dhoni for being the only captain to win all the three ICC Trophies, adding that the former Indian skipper never looked unfazed even in the trickiest of situations.
“What a captain he was, how successful he was. He won all the ICC trophies that are available. When Dhoni first started, he was big-hitter, that’s why he hit so many fours and sixes. As he grew some grey around his temple area then he had to tone it down a bit and he was lot more controlled with his batting. Anyone watching MS Dhoni in the middle would know he was always in control, unflappable, never ever he looked out of control,” he added.