SOUTHAMPTON, Aug 15 (IANS): Former England captains Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain have paid tribute to MS Dhoni after the former India captain announced his retirement from international cricket.
"To pick up on a point Shane Warne made in our chat yesterday, it's not the average of 38.09 (Dhoni's Test average) you remember," said Atherton while the pair were in the commentary box for Sky Sports during the second Test between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl.
"When a player ends his career what do people remember, not the average or the numbers but how they played and the iconic moment that the player was involved in. So I would remember that six at the Wankhede Stadium to win that World Cup in 2011. What a fabulous cricketer he was," he added.
Hussain said that Dhoni was "probably the best white-ball captain" ever in international cricket.
"Great captain, probably the best white-ball captain there has ever been and also just a cool, calm customer under pressure," said Hussain. "A great finisher. The game wasn't won until you got Dhoni out. Until very recently, he paced the innings absolutely perfectly.
"Everywhere he has been, whether it be with Chennai or India in Johannesburg when they beat Pakistan in that (2007 World T20) final which arguably brought on the IPL and T20 cricket. And at Mumbai; the iconic moment when he hit that six and they were carrying Sachin (Tendulkar) around the ground after that. He was involved in some of the great moments of Indian cricket.
"He did it his own way really. Even in keeping, he was a very fast gloveman, very fast hands standing up to the stumps. Very fine cricketer."
Dhoni announced his retirement in an Instagram post on Saturday, thus calling time on an illustrious international career that spanned nearly 16 years. He changed the face of Indian cricket with his calm demeanour, sharp understanding of the game and astute leadership qualities.
Dhoni till date became the first and is still the only captain to have won all three ICC Trophies.
"That's what makes him special, I can't remember MS losing his rag in a press conference or on the field. We also said yesterday in our chat on captaincy that you are responsible for the spirit of the game and MS often played the game the right way. He got it absolutely spot on," said Hussain.