India batsman KL Rahul has showered praise on recently-retired legend MS Dhoni, saying the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has been an inspiration for millions out there with his calm demeanour and skill to handle pressure situations. Rahul also hailed Dhoni’s ability to extract the best out of his players.

The 28-year-old Rahul made his international debut against Australia in the Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne in December 2014. Incidentally, it was Dhoni’s last Test match before he announced his retirement from the traditional format. Rahul also made his ODI and T20I debuts under Dhoni’s captaincy.

Expressing his views on former India captain, Kings XI Punjab skipper Rahul in a video said that Dhoni was a hero for people like him who came from a small town. “It was quite an emotional moment for the whole country and for world cricket. We have all grown up wanting to be MS Dhoni. Especially for someone like me who comes from a small town, he was our hero. We always told our families look it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can always go and try and achieve your dreams,” Rahul said in a video released by the Indian Premier League.

“I am sure I won’t have enough words to tell him. I will just give him a long hug and say thank you and probably ask him to go easy on Kings XI this time.”

“The calmness he (Dhoni) has and the way he has got the best out of each player, everybody would try to learn from him,” Rahul added.

Dhoni remains India’s most successful captain across all formats and is considered a legend of the game in limited-overs cricket. He is also the only international captain to win all three major ICC trophies.

Rahul will lead Kings XI Punjab in the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) slated to be played from September 19 in the UAE