The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 27 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dhoni has been more assertive: Gavaskar

Calcutta: Mahendra Singh Dhoni led from the front in the Chennai Test, helping India start the Test series against Australia with a eight-wicket victory and that is earning him accolades galore.

Former Indian Sunil Gavaskar is one who has been impressed by Dhoni’s leadership in the first Test. Speaking to a television channel, Gavaskar said that Dhoni, the captain, has become more assertive and added that the faith shown in him by the Board and the selectors will spur him to do better.

“If the captain has the confidence of the Board and the selectors, it gives him the confidence to employ tactics on the field… It’s a huge plus. Now that he is doing so well, it will give him even more confidence,” Gavaskar said.

“He has changed a bit from the England series… He is more assertive. Towards the end of England series in Nagpur, he was trying to be more assertive, showing displeasure at the lack of efforts by the players and we have seen that in Chennai as well,” Gavaskar added.

Gavaskar also lauded Dhoni’s attitude. “He is a very secure person within himself… He is a very confident man. If tomorrow, he doesn’t play cricket, I don’t think he would be regretting anything. He would say ‘I had my time and I enjoyed it’. If you have such kind of an attitude, you tend to put on less pressure on yourself,” he said.

Speaking on Dhoni’s recent comment that he had never dreamt about representing India, Gavaskar said: “He came from a place where cricket was not the No.1 sport. That might have given him a thought that he would not play for India,” Gavaskar reasoned.

About the ongoing Test series, he feels that the Australians have the potential to stage a comeback. “They can make a comeback…. Just like England skipper Alastair Cook batted so well in the first Test in Ahmedabad, similarly Michael Clarke has scored well in both the innings in Chennai. Moises Henriques has also played very well. They have got two players who have scored runs… Others are also good.”

Singling out Henriques for special praise, the legend said: “The way Henriques batted, there in lies the clue for the Australian batsmen. He played the ball very late and used soft hands. He stretched right forward to defend the ball. There was a method in the way he batted,” he said.

Gavaskar is of the opinion that the Hyderabad track won’t be a rank turner like the one in Chennai. “I don’t think the Hyderabad wicket will take as much turn as it did in Chennai. There will be some turn, but not like we saw in Chennai,” he said.