Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Saba Karim has opined that Indian players have always been full of praise for former captain MS Dhoni. Karim feels Dhoni is a legend, who has earned that kind of respect from his former teammates.
Speaking to Forbes India recently, Indian batsman KL Rahul claimed that any of the Indian players who played with Dhoni would take a bullet for him without a second thought. A few years back, senior Team India pacer Ishant Sharma had commented that he would even jump from the 24th floor if Dhoni asked him to do so.
On the Khelneeti podcast, Karim explained that Indian youngsters have been mentored wonderfully by Dhoni. Karim explained:
“He has earned the respect of the players. Perhaps the biggest achievement of his is the trust of these players. Everyone, be it any fan, players, common man or the corporate world, loves and respects him so much. MS Dhoni depicts what India stands for. His character and personality personifies the concept of how India defines itself as a country.”
The former keeper-batsman went on to add that Dhoni’s humble and calm nature of is very much a part of his legacy. Karim said:
“Very rarely have we seen Dhoni getting angry. He was not overtly aggressive even when the team was under pressure. His aggression was always inside him. I don’t think Dhoni ever insulted an opposition team or a player or passed a snide remark.”
“I have never head him sledge or mock any player. He used to always encourage the bowlers. KL Rahul, Ishant Sharma and Yuzvendra Chahal have played under Dhoni. But they weren’t there when India won the 2013 Champions Trophy or the 2011 World Cup. All these players have come up because Dhoni has backed and encouraged them.”
MS Dhoni is a family man: Saba Karim
Saba Karim was a selector during Dhoni’s tenure as India captain. The 53-year-old pointed out that he has not seen Dhoni change one bit over the years despite becoming a superstar status. Karim said of Dhoni’s behaviour:
“He gives me the same respect today, like he used to when I first met him. As a selector, I spend a lot of time with him. He was always a settled character even during the team meetings. We never felt like we were talking to a great or a big player who has achieved so many things during those days.”
Calling Dhoni a family man, Karim predicted that he will keep springing surprises in the future, on and off the field. He stated:
“MS Dhoni is a family man and is down to earth. He has his own group of friends and extended family, with whom he likes to spend his time. He has lots of varied interests, which we are getting to see after his retirement. In the coming times, we can expect a lot more from him. He has a shrewd business mind, that’s why a lot of his business ventures have been successful.”
Dhoni, who retired from international cricket on August 15 last year, celebrated his 40th birthday on Wednesday.