Former Australia captain George Bailey paid tribute to former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, praising his calm demeanour as well as his ability to break down the hierarchies between youngsters and senior players.
Dhoni recently captained India for the 200th time in ODIs when he led the side out in their last Super Four encounter of the Asia Cup 2018 against Afghanistan.
“The greatest thing I took from MS was just the ability of him to impact the calmness of the team with his calmness”, Bailey said in a video posted by Cricket Australia.
“With the chaos, and whatever is happening in the game numerous times, you see him being so calm behind the wickets.
“With the bat in his hand, you can certainly feel he’s got a plan and he’s got something covered here and it’s going to be okay.”
Bailey also spoke in detail about how Dhoni used his love for hookahs to “break down barriers” of hierarchy that tend to exist between younger and older players.
“He likes smoking a bit of the sheesha or the hookah. So, he quite often would set that up in his room, and it was very much open door policy.
“You would go in and quite often find a lot of younger players there. For India or lot of other cricket teams, it can be hierarchical, but he certainly broke that down.
“You just find yourself in his room late at night chatting inevitably about the game or different facets of the game with different people. It’s a great way to break down barriers.”
Bailey, who played alongside Dhoni in IPL sides Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant, further talked about the manner in which Dhoni backed his instincts when telling his bowlers where to bowl.
According to Bailey, this led to some confused looks from the bowlers since Dhoni’s instructions would often differ from the plans laid out in the bowling meetings.
“He can really panic some bowlers, it’s quite funny going into some bowling meetings because he would never come to them.
“The bowlers would spend their time looking at wagon wheels and preparing how are they going to bowl to the batsman and they walk out to the field and have the bowl in their hand and MS would just point in a completely different direction.
“You can see a few of the bowler's eyes start to spin. He has such confidence, such a steely determination and belief that he inspires the bulk of the bowlers to do the right thing.”