Suresh Raina (L) and MS Dhoni © AFP
Suresh Raina (L) and MS Dhoni © AFP

While ace director Neeraj Pandey did a commendable job on MS Dhoni‘s biopic (MS Dhoni- The Untold Story), he could have explored more on the former Indian skipper’s on-field strategies and inputs. His fans and experts have always invested a lot thinking about how he remains unperturbed in pressure situations. After all, he is known as ‘Captain Cool’ for a reason. Yet his followers know very little of him due to his ‘mysterious’ nature.

India‘s currently out-of-favour all-rounder, Suresh Raina, shared some interesting insights into Dhoni’s style of captaincy in Breakfast with Champions with Gaurav Kapoor. Dhoni led India to 2007 World T20I, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy triumphs. Raina was an integral part of some of the famous victories in Dhoni’s era. He was also a part of a dominating Chennai Super Kings-outfit (CSK) under Dhoni (2008-2015).

‘It is very difficult to predict what he is doing’

“He (Dhoni) doesn’t wear goggles and it is very difficult to predict what he is doing. His eyes will remain the same and you feel like telling him that ‘show some emotion’. But he gets angry a lot of time. You can’t see it on the camera but when he knows that there is a TV break, he will say ‘sudharjatu’.”

The silent sledger

“Once we were playing in Pakistan and Umar Akmal was batting and he complained to Dhoni that Raina is abusing me. I just said I did not abuse him. He asked me what happened and I told him that I was trying to throw at Umar and asked him to score some runs and chase down the target. Dhoni told me ‘give him more’. This means break him and build some pressure on him.”

Dhoni has Plan A, B & C ready 

“He (Dhoni) a very good reader of the game. He knows what is going to happen and he knows the next step. He has three games ready like ‘plan A,’ ‘plan B,’ and ‘plan C’. He always takes three plans to the ground whether he batting, fielding, wicketkeeping or captaining the side. He plans in the night and then visualises in the morning using his subconscious mind.”

‘Like a chess player, no one can read his move’

“He has made all this around him. He has given the boys chance in the team thinking that this is my team. His game-reading skill was different. Like a chess player, no one can read his move. Like they saying when he is chasing. He visualises a lot. He steps out and then takes a single. That is not his game but he wants to tell the bowler that I can step out as well. He plays with the bowler as well.”