‘MS Dhoni thought I didn’t understand Hindi, but I knew everything’: How Monty Panesar tried to trick former India captain
Former England spinner Monty Panesar recalled the time when he would try to trick former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni when the two played against each other. MS Dhoni was known to be a shrewd customer on the field as he would often try to devise wicket-taking strategies, and field set-ups. Dhoni would often advice his spin bowlers to bowl a certain line which would often result in India getting wickets.
Speaking in a recent interaction with Times of India, Panesar recalled how Dhoni would often instruct his bowlers to bowl a certain way, but added that he could understand Dhoni’s words as he speaks Hindi and Punjabi fluently.
“I remember his tips to the bowlers, especially spinners from behind the stumps. Abhi thodi wide ball daalo. Abhi thoda seedha stumps pe rakho. Ye cross line khelne waala hai, seedha daalo. Ye deep mid-wicket pe chakka marega, thoda wide rakhna. (Bowl a little wide now. Now bowl straight on the stumps. He is going to play across the line, so bowl straight. He will try for a six over mid-wicket, so bowl a little wide)”, recalled Monty Panesar.
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“I can speak Hindi and Punjabi to a great extent. MSD thought I didn’t understand. I heard everything, but I also acted like MSD, as if I didn’t hear anything. I heard and (then) acted as if I didn’t hear anything. But I knew everything,” Panesar said.
“And believe me, he (Dhoni) has done this a number of times and got wickets. And that’s what I love about MS Dhoni and I am proud that I have played against him,” the former England bowler added.
Speaking on MS Dhoni’s biggest strength, Panesar further said: “He (MS Dhoni) was very good at reading other people, but people couldn’t read him. That was another strength. You will never be able to know what is going on in Dhoni’s mind when he is at the crease and India need 15 runs per over in the last three overs. And he gets it. How does he do it? That’s MSD’s secret.”
Dhoni will return to play for Chennai Super Kings in the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League which kicks off from September 19th in the UAE.