MS Dhoni, India’s limited overs captain, has predicted a bright future for the national side under the new head coach Anil Kumble. Speaking to the Tamil Nadu Premier League’s official website on Friday (August 19) after unveiling the trophy for the inaugural season, Dhoni revealed that he is looking forward to playing for the first time under Kumble in the two-match Twenty20 International series against West Indies in Florida at the end of the month.
“Well Anil Bhai, I have played with him, I have played under him and he’s a very special man,” Dhoni said. “He’s one of the few players, irrespective of the conditions whether it’s (assisting) spin bowling or not, whether we’re playing in abroad or not — he was somebody who was very aggressive when it comes to his bowling. He was somebody who put in a lot of hard-work who would prepare very well over a period and you know he’s just fantastic.
“The integrity part, the honesty part, the hard-work, the affection and yes the big change has been the sense of humour. So it will be nice. Already I think we are the No. 1 Test team so that’s very good for us and I feel we’ll have a special time.”
Having already retired from Test Cricket, Dhoni revealed that the time away from the game has helped him plan his training methods in order to stay fitter. “Generally, we are provided with a schedule and also since I’m not playing Test matches anymore it gives me the liberty of planning out a bit of training because nowadays even the training part we have to be very careful as to what we are doing,” he said.
“In my case, my motto was to lose a bit of weight; technically in the terms of the fat percentage and what you have to be careful about is when you try to lose fat you don’t want to end up losing muscle also. I have managed to lose two kilos. The BCCI trainers really helped us out they gave us a schedule as to what we need to follow.”
The TNPL, according to Dhoni, can go on to become a ‘feeding ground for CSK’, eventually, when they return to the Indian Premier League once their suspension gets over. “The players who play well here since it’s being telecast by Star as well everyone will have a look at the players and I feel this is something that has changed since the start of the IPL,” he noted. “All the franchisees are on the constant look-out for players who can give that something special to their team and I feel this is where you can get it.
“It will actually motivate a lot of youngsters to do well when it comes to cricket and perform under pressure because when it comes to franchise cricket; you’re slightly under a different kind of pressure.”