South African all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius joins the long list of players who have gone on to speak about MS Dhoni and his calmness on and off the field. The Randfontein-born player played for the Chennai team in this season’s Indian T20 League. Being in the playing 11 for just six games was enough for him to understand how big a brand Dhoni truly is. The Proteas bowler believes that the legend has an innate ability to access and control situations, which is something that he wishes to learn himself.
The South African pace all-rounder played just 6 games in the Indian T20 League where he scored 44 runs and took 6 wickets. His highlight of the tournament however is his 33-run partnership with Dhoni against Mumbai.
Talking to the reporters ahead of the T20I series against India, he said, “Playing my first Indian T20 League was a great experience. It was one of my bucket list items and that too to get the opportunity to play for Chennai, one of the most successful franchises. I enjoyed every moment of it. You get a lot of responsibility as a player. I really enjoyed playing under Dhoni as well and batting with him, seeing the brand value he has in India just shows how big he is and what he has done for the sport in this country.” When asked about his experience with Dhoni he only had good things to say.
“The biggest thing I learned from him (Dhoni) is how calm he is at the crease, and how much he tries to take pressure off himself and put it onto the bowler. He made me realize that, at the death, the batter isn’t under pressure. It’s actually the bowler who is under more pressure. You can still lose the match if you have to defend 18 off the last three balls, and as a batter, you can actually win it. It was a fresh mindset,” he added.
The five-match T20I series between South Africa and India starts on June 9th with the first T20I game set to be played in Delhi.