I'm not a keen watcher of cricket, says Dhoni | india | Hindustan Times
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I'm not a keen watcher of cricket, says Dhoni

He may have taken the cricket world by storm but India's ODI skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni confesses that he is "not a keen watcher" of the game, except when Sachin Tendulkar is on the field.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2008 21:38 IST

He may have taken the cricket world by storm but India's ODI skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni confesses that he is "not a keen watcher" of the game, except when Sachin Tendulkar is on the field.

"I'm not really a keen watcher of cricket. Even in the last World Cup, in South Africa, I just watched Sachin (Tendulkar) bat. The last game we played, we lost to Australia, and I only watched Sachin bat. I cannot sit in a chair and watch," Dhoni said.

The 26-year-old wicket-keeper batsman also said he did not study cricket off the field but learnt it only while playing.

"I don't study cricket too much. Whatever I have learned or experienced is through cricket I've played on the field, and whatever little I have watched. And statistics, I know nothing. If you ask me 'Who is the first player to do this or that?' you won't get anywhere close to a correct answer from me," he was quoted as saying by 'Cricinfo' website.

Dhoni felt Anil Kumble, who is India's Test captain, has better communication skills than him and said he was learning a few things from the leg-spinner.

"He's (Anil) a great guy, leads from the front. He's the sort of guy, if he's on the field, he's always there to win a game. Even if the opposition needs one run to win and they have 55 balls, if he's bowling, he will look to get the batsman out.

"He's like, 'Till they win, I'm not losing'. His communication is a lot better than mine. It's one of the things I'm learning and should learn. The rest I think we're the same. I think communication-wise he's a lot better than me," he said.

Dhoni, whose leadership skills has earned him rich accolades, revealed he had never been in-charge anywhere till Twenty20 happened to him.

"At a bigger level, I don't think I've captained anywhere. At school I used to score regularly but I think they were quite afraid of my temperament. I was very aggressive with the guys who were not really 100 per cent on the field.

"I believe in giving more than 100 per cent on the field and I don't really worry about the result if there's great commitment on the field. That's victory for me."

The Jharkhand player, in fact, said thinking like a leader came pretty late to him.

"...It came to me quite late. Till class 10 or 11 I wouldn't really go up front and say things. I would wait and watch," he said.

"As the wicketkeeper, you always are in a position where the captain comes up to you and asks different things. In a way it goes on in the subconscious.

"Being a wicketkeeper really helped me more than anything. Whatever was in my mind I used to speak. I never used to just go through the motions and follow whatever the skipper said", he said.

On being one of the rare wicketkeepers-captains who is successful, he said being a stumper helped him.

"In India, you have to make quite a few bowling changes, because at times when a partnership is going and the wicket is flat and you are playing with four bowlers, it gets tough for the skipper. That's the time you step in - being the keeper you read the wicket well. That really helped me more than anything else."