After the historic 2-1 ODI series triumph, Team India’s veteran M S Dhoni earned not only the man of the series award but he also earned lavish praise from none other than the Australia coach Justin Langer. He termed M S Dhoni a ‘superstar’ and wished every cricketer to follow his footsteps. He has been observing M S Dhoni for the last 10 years or so and came up with some in-depth analysis of M S Dhoni’s achievements.
Calling Dhoni a role model, Langer said, “He is 37 years old. His running between the wickets is elite, and his fitness is elite. For him to run between the wickets for three days in a row, it was 40 degrees the other day, and play like that, he is a superstar of the game and that’s what Australians should be aspiring to be – superstars of the game,” Langer said at the post-match press conference.
Facing criticism for slow batting in the first ODI in Sydney, Dhoni shut his critics up by helping the visitors win the next two matches and with that, India’s maiden bilateral ODI series triumph in Australia. Dhoni played a crucial role in the decisive third ODI with his unbeaten 87-run knock in Melbourne and his unbeaten half-century at Adelaide.
“MS Dhoni, like Virat Kohli, like Cheteshwar Pujara in the Test series, they give us really great role models. MS Dhoni, his record, everything speaks for itself as a captain, batsman, wicket keeper. He is literally an all-time great of the game and it has been, as hard as it is to lose, a privilege to play against those guys.”
Langer added that Dhoni showed his squad how the job is done. “You drop MS Dhoni a couple of times and you don’t win. You don’t give great players chances. We did that tonight. We get down the 49th over and MS is there again. It was a great lesson for our squad. We talk about match winners, getting the job done — he showed us again. It is a great tutorial for our batters,” he said.
“If M S Dhoni can come out and run between wickets like that after keeping wickets for 50 overs, that is the level the whole world should be aspiring to. I would be amazed if they (Australian players) don’t learn from playing against those guys. For a young squad, there is no better lesson and learning to rub shoulders with great players. I’m glad we have had the experience.”
Langer said that it had been a close series against a very good Indian team. “It has not been a one sided series. India have been too good for us all summer, in Tests and in ODIs. But it has been a close one. The boys have fought hard and we have had some real positives. Jhye Richardson has been a shining light. Peter Handscomb has done a good job in the middle overs and Shaun Marsh has been in great nick. We had our chances and we just didn’t take them.”