Former India player and current India men’s team Head Coach Ravi Shastri said that he has seen Sachin Tendulkar get “angry at times” but not Mahendra Singh Dhoni. 

Former India captain, MS Dhoni, who was going through a rough patch throughout the last year, started this year brilliantly. He scored three consecutive half-centuries in their three-match ODI series against Australia. He scored 51 off 96 in the first ODI but India failed to register a win but his stable innings n the next two matches helped India to win their first bilateral ODI series win by 2-1.

While talking about him to the Daily Telegraph, Shastri mentioned Dhoni as a “legend”. He further said that Dhoni is a once in a generation player who will be difficult to replace after his retirement. Moreover, he said that Indians should enjoy his presence until he is there.

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“He is a legend. He will go down as one of our great cricketers. I have never seen an individual so sound. I have seen Sachin at times get angry. Not this man,” Shastri said the Daily Telegraph.

“You can’t (replace him). Such players only come once in 30 or 40 years. That is what I tell Indians. Enjoy while it lasts. When he goes you will see a void that will be very hard to fill,” he further added.

Shastri further said that Dhoni has not given any proper cricketing interview after the World Cup win in 2011.

“Whether he gets a zero, gets a hundred, whether he wins the World Cup or loses in the first round, MS is the same man. He is simply consistent with his body language and composure. It amazes me how he does it. Since 2011 he has not given one interview.”

Prior to the series, many doubted Dhoni’s capabilities and his ability to finish the match. Some of them asked for his replacement as well. Many favoured Rishabh Pantas India’s wicket-keeper batsman for the upcoming World Cup who can give stability to the lower batting order. But Dhoni played match-winning knocks and shut his critics.

When former England captain Michael Vaughan asked if Rishabh Pant could be Dhoni in the next 20 years, Shastri replied, “I would love to. He has the talent. His hero is MS. Every day he is on the phone to MS. I think during the Test series he must have spoken more to MS than anyone else.”

Dhoni is not only a keeper-batsman in the team but also guides Kohli and others from behind the stumps. His experience, master strategies always help Kohli in every step and everyone in the team has immense respect for him.

“That is because he has the best angle. He sees things. He is great with the guys, they all worship him. This entire team has been built by him because he was captain for 10 years. To have that kind of respect in the dressing room and experience is massive,” said Shastri.

Also Read: Dhoni should bat at no. 4

While talking about the comparison between Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar, Shastri replied that Tendulkar was “more composed” who stayed in a zone while Virat Kohli is more “in your face”.

“Yesterday someone asked me if there are any similarities between Sachin and Virat. I said there were plenty. Let’s start with work ethic,” he said. “It is doing the hard yards, looking ugly in the nets and sacrificing important things for your cricket. It is staying in the zone. No excuses. No pointing fingers at others. If you make a mistake, then own up. They do that,” Shastri further said.

“Virat can be in your face. He is the closest a player has come to Vivian Richards in the way he bats. That ‘in your face’ approach with fast bowlers and any opponent. He is also prepared to do hard work and be ugly. That is part of his batting he learned in England,” said coach. “He is very caring with his team-mates and just a fantastic role model. He has achieved greatness but to still be in the zone and being humble and hungry and wanting Test cricket makes my admiration for him grow more and more.”

Shastri also expressed his thought over listening to criticism also.

“You expect it (the criticism). I am one of those that if it is constructive, then fine. If I find it is agenda-driven, I don’t care who the individual is, then I will throw a punch back straightaway. I mean it. I don’t care if he is a legend or a normal person. If I feel I have to punch back I will.”

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