Former Zimbabwe cricket team captain Tatenda Taibu feels that Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s mental toughness separated him from his contemporaries. Despite an odd technique and distinctive skill, Dhoni has carved a niche for himself in the international arena and is widely regarded as one of the greatest limited-overs players. Dhoni is the only captain in the history of the game to win all three ICC trophies. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
“…The first time I saw Dhoni, if I’m to be honest…he had come with the India A side. I thought Karthik was more natural than Dhoni. And still in keeping, he is more natural…even in batting he is more natural,” Taibu said on Fan Play-Sports Ruler ‘Inside Out With Baggs’ on YouTube channel.
Taibu then went on to explain Dhoni’s technical prowess. “Now, the way he (MSD) keeps, his hands are not always together like you always have the little fingers together… when he catches his hands are always not like that…
“But he always manages to catch the ball and whip the bails in a flash with a very different technique…very different and odd technique,” Taibu added.
Taibu also said with Dhoni it was similar with his batting as the technique was different but it was about his hand-eye coordination and mental toughness too.
“Same thing about his batting…different technique. But great hand-eye co-ordination. But I don’t think it’s only his hand-eye coordination but probably his mental toughness.
“Normally if you don’t look the part, so to speak, it’s easy for coaches to just put you aside. But Dhoni backs that up with statistics,” Taibu added.
About Australian great Adam Gilchrist, the Zimbabwean said he was a natural batsman but not a natural ‘keeper and used to put in more time on his wicket-keeping than batting.
“Gilchrist was a natural batsman and not a natural wicket-keeper. He always used to put more time on his keeping than his batting because his batting was very natural..hitting the ball was quite easy for him,” he added.
Taibu, who had burst into the scene at a young age and also led the country, said he had learnt a lot from the international stars like Indian greats Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid among others, especially about training.