Bengaluru, July 7: Mohit Sharma, the India and Chennai Super Kings pacer, said MS Dhoni, who turned 39 on Tuesday (July 7), is a brilliant story-teller and affable person and thinking captain, making him stand out in a crowd.
"Whenever you ever sit down with Mahi bhai for a chat, he has so many stories to tell, so many anecdotes to narrate. The stories are also really enjoyable to listen to. Basically, he's a very good story-teller, so it is always great fun to sit with him and chat," said Mohit during the chat show Homerun with AV with sports commentator Arun Venugopal on his YouTube channel Gethist Creative.
Mohit remembered his first interaction with the former Indian captain who is now leading Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
"Actually, I couldn't speak with Mahi bhai for a long time. I had actually played with him even in the past (before being a part of Chennai Super Kings). After he had scored runs for India against Pakistan, we were playing an Air India tournament near Shimla, and Mahi bhai was also there. I played alongside him there. Two or three matches (in the IPL) had gotten over, and I hadn't had any conversation with him at all. Finally, I mustered enough courage to go up to him and say "Mahi bhai, we have played together in the past, do you remember?"
"He replied saying "I remember very well, Mohit. In fact, we have met twice before." He proceeded to tell me that apart from meeting during the Air India tournament, we had met when I was the net bowler during an India-England game in Faridabad. That was my first chat with Mahi bhai. The conversation went on for nearly 30 minutes, and it was during a game against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali," he said.
Mohit said Dhoni understands a player well and that makes him a good captain.
"He understands a player extremely well. During my first year with the Chennai Super Kings, he didn't ask me to set my own fields because he had seen what my strengths and weaknesses were. At that time, he wanted me to only handle the pressure of bowling. He said he would take care of it and took the pressure off me. The next year, he told me that I was ready to set my own fields according to my bowling plan. When you have played the IPL for a year and have also played for India, how a captain makes the player matters a lot.
"Mahi bhai trusted me to take responsibility and that taught me a lot. I had a lot of success that IPL season and won the Purple Cap, In 2015 - because I take my time between deliveries - Mahi bhai said he wouldn't tell me too many things and asked me to set my fields as I walk back to the top of my run-up," he said.
But off the field, Mohit said Dhoni is a very affable person. "Mahi bhai shuts his door only when he sleeps. We spend most of the time with him. So, you can walk into his room at any time and talk about anything under the sun. In fact, there are quite a lot of players who obviously want to learn from someone like Dhoni when he is in your team. So, most of us players would try to spend our free time with him," he said.