Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis has heaped praise on Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the success he has achieved in his cricket career and the way he changed the face of Indian cricket as the captain of the national team.
“Sourav Ganguly was the one who started that journey of improvement for Indian cricket and M S Dhoni took that journey ahead. He is a World Cup champion and has won two World Cups. I think he has done wonderfully well for himself, for his country and of course, for his family,” Younis said on a GloFans’ chat show ‘Q20’.
The former Pakistan skipper acknowledged the role BCCI president Ganguly played in inculcating a strong winning mentality in the Men in Blue and that Dhoni took the team to the next level.
“What a cricketer MS Dhoni is. The way he led the team, it is difficult to express it in words. He is a very good and big leader who understands things. He is a wonderful human being and coming from a small village and the heights he has achieved plus leading such a big country and team is indeed praiseworthy” Waqar said during the Twitter chat, according to the release issued by the handle.
Dhoni, who turns 39 on Tuesday, is currently on a sabbatical and hasn’t played competitive cricket since India’s semi-final loss in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
The wicket-keeper batsman had passed the leadership baton to Virat Kohli and Younis felt that the current Indian captain’s aggression and fitness levels have made him a complete player.
“Virat Kohli has evolved the game and all the formats of the modern-day cricket including T20 Cricket, one day suits him a lot and he is brilliant at test matches. But the biggest difference he brought to Cricket that is followed and watched worldwide is his fitness. He has set a bar of fitness worldwide, for players, I think it is hard to beat.
“I think for that reason also, you like everything about Virat Kohli. He is fit, he is always in your face, he wants to prove you that he is the best, he is a fighter, so that is why, we all like him,” Younis added.
The 48-year-old, who has also worked as a coach with the Pakistan national team, was asked about his country’s dismal record against India in the World Cups and he admitted that their opponents simply play better cricket when it matters.
“Over the last few World Cups, Pakistan have not won against India. We did well in other formats, we did well in Test matches, but when it comes to World Cups and ODI Cricket, India has always had an upper hand on us. And they deserve it. I think they played better cricket than us.
“I remember in Bangalore and back in I think that was in Pretoria in 2003. I remember most of them and I think I have played a couple of them. So they were a very good side and I think on that particular day they just came out with a very positive frame of mind, they played better cricket and played smartly. We did not play smartly; we had games in our hands.
If you look at the World Cup in 2011 and then of course back in ’96 also we had the game in our hand, but it is just, we… we just threw it away. It is hard to pinpoint why we do that, maybe, it’s just the pressure of the World Cup now because it happens so many times, it is just the psychological pressure on us that we just cannot really win against them but yeah, it’s very-very difficult to pinpoint on one thing,” Younis added.