Off spinners for MS Dhoni have always been meat and drink stuff. The former India captain has always dominated right arm finger spinners and in fact that was the main reason why he promoted himself ahead of Yuvraj in the legendary 2011 World Cup final. Even in that innings he played the class of Murali with ease and the highest wicket taker of all time was made to look ordinary on that particular day.
However, Murali’s class is unquestionable and his stats do the talking for him. The man has troubled the best in the business in his playing days and ever since he started bowling the doosra, he was a nightmare for batsman to handle. However, if Ashwin is to be believed then Dhoni had the measure of Murali much before the 2011 World Cup and he used to easily hit the great bowler oout of the ground in CSK practice sessions.
“I would be waiting in the queue at the MA Chidambaram stadium where there was a net behind the stadium and one where they practice right next to the match turf. So MS and Suresh always batted at the center. Queuing up to bowl to them at the center was some sort of a yardstick,” Ravichandran Ashwin recalled. “We didn’t always get to do that. But when I did that for the first time, I was bowling alongside Muttiah Muralitharan. Every time Murali bowled to MS, MS hit the ball long. MS of today is a lot more calculated but I have seen him back then where he used to whack every single ball and every time Murali dragged the length back, MS hit it farther,” he added. “There were at least 5-6 balls that scaled the roof of the MA Chidambaram stadium. I hadn’t seen anybody hit the ball that far and that was every very new in that era. To hit sixes was something we weren’t taught as youngsters,” Ashwin said.