Harbhajan Singh has revealed a different facet of MS Dhoni the captain with whom he now plays for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Dhoni is widely regarded as one of the greatest India captains and not just because of the fact that he has led them to two world cup title wins. He is an astute reader of the game and is celebrated for his tactical nous.

Harbhajan, who has played under Dhoni at both at the international level and in the IPL, says the the veteran allows his bowlers to play with complete freedom and let’s them execute what they know best.

“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.

Recalling a match during IPL when pacer Shardul Thakur was being taken to the cleaners, Harbhajan said he approached Dhoni to speak with the youngster and ask him to change tactics.

“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 said.

“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 39-year-old said.