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'He changed the face of Indian cricket' - Misbah pays tribute to Dhoni
Farewell Dhoni

'He changed the face of Indian cricket' - Misbah pays tribute to Dhoni

Misbah-ul-Haq claimed MS Dhoni was pivotal in altering the mentality of the Indian team after the former skipper announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday.

Dhoni, 39, is often rated among the greatest white-ball captains in the history of the game as he helped India clinch the three major ICC trophies during his leadership tenure.

In addition to his successful captaincy stint, Dhoni was regarded as one of the best modern-day finishers with his ability to stay calm under pressure demonstrated through his quality chasing skills.

Misbah, who came head-to-head against Dhoni on multiple occasions, lauded the star wicketkeeper-batsman's self-possessed demeanour that was crucial to his side's numerous triumphs.

"He's a big name in Indian cricket, he's served Indian cricket very well," Misbah told AFP following the washed-out third day of the second Test between England and Pakistan

"One of the greats I think, the way he changed the approach and especially he achieved so much for Indian cricket, winning the World Cup, winning the Champions Trophy, winning the T20 World Cup."

"He's got all the trophies in his bag," he pointed out.

Misbah was on the receiving end of an agonising defeat in the final of the 2007 World T20 when Dhoni handed last over duties to the unheralded Joginder Sharma.

The unorthodox move paid off dramatically when Misbah, in search of a boundary, top-edged a paddle sweep towards fine leg as Dhoni's India emerged winners of the first ever World T20 tournament by a meagre margin of five runs.

Impressed by Dhoni's tactical masterstrokes and man-managing skills over the course of his career, former Pakistan skipper Misbah expressed admiration for his longtime rival's influence over the team.

"He was such a cool captain on the outside, but from the inside such an aggressive player."

"He was such a 'shrewd', you could say, captain -- the way he handled the team, the way he just developed the team and changed the team from seniors [senior players], brought up some juniors.

"He changed the whole culture of the team, the whole face of Indian cricket -- a wonderful servant of the game."

Misbah concluded that Dhoni lifted Indian cricket to even greater heights than the lofty standards set by the celebrated team led by current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.

"He was the one name who really took Indian cricket from wherever Sourav left the team and then from there on he did wonders for Indian cricket."

"Such a wonderful person and a very, very good captain."