Mahendra Singh Dhoni is undoubtedly one of the most successful captains to ever play the game. The former skipper is often praised for his calm behaviour in crunch situations. The 'Captain Cool' is the only captain in the world to lift all three-limited overs ICC trophies, T20I World Cup in 2007, the ODI World Cup in 2011 and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
Dhoni is also known to help his bowlers from behind the stumps with his exemplary game awareness. Recently, veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has played under Dhoni's leadership in both Indian team and in Chennai Super Kings during IPL, revealed that the former Indian skipper gives full freedom to his bowlers. (Also Read | 'In 2008 IPL final, CSK team meeting led by Dhoni lasted 2 minutes': Parthiv Patel)
“He is not a captain who says, do this, do that. He wants you to do what you know you can do. Bowl what you know you can. If you can bowl six offspinners, do that,” Harbhajan told ESPNCricinfo.
“Yes, he has nudged me at times - from behind the stumps or at change of overs - saying, this guy is trying to do this or will try this. But he never tells me what to do,” he added.
Harbhajan further recalled his memory of an IPL match when Indian paceman Shardul Thakur was getting hammered by the opposition batsman but Dhoni remained calm. The 39-year-old said he went to Dhoni and ask Shardul to make adjustment in his bowling. (Also Read | MS Dhoni has earned the right to leave the game on his own terms: Gary Kirsten)
“Once Shardul Thakur was bowling in Pune. He was getting hit every ball. First ball four, second ball six. I went to Dhoni and told him, “Why don’t you tell him [Thakur] to change the angle or push a fielder back?”,” Harbhajan recalled.
Harbhajan said that the CSK captain told him that Shardul will get confused if I tell him anything now.
“As if he had all the time in the world, Dhoni said to me, “Bhajju pa, if I tell him anything now, he will get confused. Khaane do.” [Let him get hit.] He knew we could afford to get hit because we had already qualified for the playoffs.
“He [Dhoni] said, “When he [Thakur] feels there is no option left, then I can tell him he could try doing this.” So Dhoni will not tell you until you realise you are short of ideas,” the bowler added.