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MS Dhoni Rates Shoaib Akhtar as Toughest Bowler He Faced

Former India skipper MS Dhoni revealed the toughest bowler he faced in his career. It was speed star Shoaib Akhtar who created a problem for Dhoni, admitted the hard-hitting middle order batsman.

“All the fast bowlers are quite difficult, with the limited technique I had, it was very difficult to face the fast bowlers. Still, if I had to pick one, I would pick Shoaib Akhtar,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni has come to this conclusion despite playing against Akhtar just 10 times in international cricket: five Tests and as many One-day Internationals.

Asked why he picked Akhtar over the likes of Brett Lee, Dale Steyn, Stuart Broad, Morne Morkel and James Anderson, Dhoni said: “Very simple reason: he was quick, he was fast, he could bowl a yorker, he could bowl a bouncer but you never expected a beamer.

“He was a bit unpredictable (but) he was fun to play against.”

The former India captain, who was speaking at his successor Virat Kohli’s charity ball here, also gave a tongue in cheek reply when the often controversial Duckworth/Lewis system came up for discussion.

“I don’t think even ICC understands the D/L method,” Dhoni said.

MS Dhoni is currently playing for India at the Champions Trophy, while had retired from the game a long ago.

Dhoni also expressed his disappointment over the DRS system, saying  “If you see the deviations in DRS, there are quite a few deviations. Even the makers agree that can happen. Now you have to also take into account whether it was given not out or out. If it was given out it needs to touch the stump [for the decision to remain out]; if it was not out it needs to hit half the stump [to be given out]. That itself makes the variable too big. In cricket every inch, every millimeter, matters.”

“DRS should not be the umpires’ decision justification system. It should be giving the right decision. Like in tennis you don’t say the umpire called it out and half the ball has to pitch inside the line. It has to be plain and simple. You don’t have to keep too many things in consideration. You either say, ‘This is DRS, doesn’t matter whether it is given out or not out, if half the ball is hitting the stumps, you are out.’ Irrespective of the decision. Now, for example, you take DRS, in an lbw decision, what changes everything is whether it was given in favour or not. It can mean a margin of one inch overall, and that is very big.” Dhoni had said.

In the first game of India’s Champions Trophy campaign, Dhoni didn’t bat against Pakistan. But, he played a 63 runs innings against Sri Lanka at The Oval.



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