Greg Chappell might have been a great batsman, but his coaching skills have come under scrutiny many times. During his tenure with the Indian side, the former Australian captain was questioned for his behaviour as a coach. However, his stint had a few positives. One of them would be the emergence of MS Dhoni at the world stage.
In an interview, the former Indian coach recalled the time he had seen the Jharkhand player bat for the first time. He revealed that he was quite impressed with his batting skills and his power-hitting abilities. Chappell credited Dhoni as the most powerful batsman ever he has ever seen.
“I vividly remember that I was left awestruck when I saw him batting for the first time. He was definitely the most exciting cricketer in India at that time. Dhoni used to hit the ball from the most unusual positions. He is the most powerful batsman I have ever seen,” Chappel said during a chat session on the Facebook handle of the Playwrite Foundation.
I always used to challenge him if he could finish the game: Greg Chappell on MS Dhoni
The Aussie even recalled the innings of 183 in 2005 by the ex-Indian captain. He shared the story about how he instructed the dashing batsman to control his game as per the situation in the next game in Pune. He revealed how in the next match, the Ranchi player changed his game to play a more controlled knock.
“I remember his knock of 183 against Sri Lanka and how he tore them apart. It was power hitting at its very best. The next match was in Pune. I asked MS, ‘why don’t you play along the ground more instead of trying to hit every ball to the boundary’. We were chasing 260 odd and were in a good position and Dhoni was playing contrasting innings to the one he had played just a couple of days before. We still needed 20 runs to win and Dhoni asked me, through 12th man RP Singh if he could hit sixes. I told him not until the target was in single digit. When we needed six runs to win, he finished the game with a six,” he said.
The former coach also revealed that he would present challenges in front of the wicketkeeper-batsman to take his side home to a win. Chappell revealed that the happiness of finishing a match was always visible on Dhoni’s face. He also credited the veteran as the best finisher to have ever played cricket.
“I always used to challenge him if he could finish the game. There used to be a booming smile on his face, whenever he used to score the winning runs. He is definitely the best finisher the game has ever seen,” he concluded.