Melbourne [Australia], January 26 (ANI): Former Team India head coach Greg Chappell has lavished praise on MS Dhoni for his "decision-making and strategic skills" which set him apart from his contemporaries.
Dhoni, the former India skipper who is probably one of the greatest captains to grace the cricket field, has won it all in his time: From the T20I World Cup in 2007 and the 2013 Champions Trophy to the 2011 ODI World Cup on home soil.
Chappell while speaking about natural environments that help in shaping up cricketers, said Dhoni is one of the "sharpest cricket" minds the former Australian cricketer has encountered.
"The developed cricket countries have lost the natural environments that were a big part of their development structure in bygone eras. In those environments, young cricketers learned from watching good players and then emulating them in pick-up matches with family and friends," Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
"The Indian subcontinent still has many towns where coaching facilities are rare and youngsters play in streets and on vacant land without the interference of formal coaching. This is where many of their current stars have learned the game."
"MS Dhoni, with whom I worked in India, is a good example of a batter who developed his talent and learned to play in this fashion. By competing against more experienced individuals on a variety of surfaces early in his development, Dhoni developed the decision-making and strategic skills that have set him apart from many of his peers. His is one of the sharpest cricket minds I have encountered," Chappell added.
The former Australia batter Chappell said England have "very few" of these natural environments and the cricketers are groomed after a coaching programme.
"England, on the other hand, have very few of these natural environments and their players are produced in a narrow band of public schools, with an emphasis on the coaching manual. This is why their batting has lost much of its flair and resilience," said Chappell.
Coming back to Dhoni, the former skipper who made his international debut against Bangladesh in 2004, went on to play 538 matches across formats during his 16-year-long career. Dhoni played 350 One-Day Internationals, 90 Tests, and 98 T20 Internationals for India.
His last appearance in an international game came in July 2019, when India lost to New Zealand in the semi-final of the World Cup. On August 15, 2020, Dhoni announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, bringing down the curtains on an illustrious career.
During his career, Dhoni amassed 4,876 runs in Tests at an average of 38.09 and scored 10,773 runs in ODIs at an average of 50.57. In T20Is, the swashbuckling batsman scored 1617 runs at a strike rate of 126.13. (ANI)