When MS Dhoni allowed Shardul Thakur to bowl freely: Harbhajan recalls


Former Indian captain MS Dhoni has influenced many cricketers’ careers on the field. He has by far been the best captain in Indian cricket history. He has won a record three ICC trophies to his name, which is most by any captain in international cricket.

MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni has also weaved the magic in Indian Premier League (IPL) as he led Chennai Super Kings to IPL title 3 times while qualifying for the playoffs each and every time, the best record by any team.

Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh who has played many games under MS Dhoni’s leadership has now explained why his captaincy is so unique and successful. The spinner went on to reveal that Dhoni gives a lot of freedom to his bowlers so much so that bowlers come up with good ideas to bowl well.


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“He is not a captain who says, do this, do that. He wants you to do what you know you can do. Bowl what you know you can. If you can bowl six offspinners, do that,” Harbhajan Singh added in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.

“Yes, he has nudged me at times – from behind the stumps or at change of overs – saying, this guy is trying to do this or will try this. But he never tells me what to do”.

“Once Shardul Thakur was bowling in Pune. He was getting hit every ball. First ball four, second ball six. I went to Dhoni and told him, “Why don’t you tell him [Thakur] to change the angle or push a fielder back?”,” Harbhajan recalled.

“Bhajju pa, if I tell him anything now, he will get confused,” said MS Dhoni

“As if he had all the time in the world, Dhoni said to me, “Bhajju pa, if I tell him anything now, he will get confused. Khaane do.” [Let him get hit.]He knew we could afford to get hit because we had already qualified for the playoffs.. He [Dhoni] said, “When he [Thakur] feels there is no option left, then I can tell him he could try doing this.” So Dhoni will not tell you until you realise you are short of ideas,” Harbhajan added.

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