Suresh Raina also said MS Dhoni's mind operates like that of a chess player Image: AFP
If one were to go searching for people who have spent the most amount of time with MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina's name would probably be right after his immediate family. The two have shared the dressing for both the Indian national side as well as in the Indian Premier League with the Chennai Super Kings.
Having spent so much time together over the years, Suresh Raina opened up about Mahi to tell us about the man behind the calm facade, on a show called Breakfast with Champions.
Speaking on the show, Raina confirmed that despite being called 'Captain Cool', Dhoni has quite an explosive temper that he never shows others. He is also a master of the poker face and will never let on what he is feeling.
“He doesn’t wear goggles and it is very difficult to predict what he is doing. His eyes will remain the same and you feel like telling him that ‘show some emotion’. But he gets angry a lot of the time. You can’t see it on the camera but when he knows that there is a TV break, he will say ‘sudhar ja tu‘,” Raina said.
Raina went on to recollect an incident that involved him, Dhoni and Pakistan's wicket-keeper/batsman Umar Akmal.
“Once we were playing in Pakistan and Umar Akmal was batting and he complained to Dhoni that Raina is abusing me. I just said I did not abuse him. He asked me what happened and I told him that I was trying to throw at Umar and asked him to score some runs and chase down the target," he continued.
“Dhoni told me ‘give him more’. This means to break him and build some pressure on him. He is a very good reader of the game. He knows what is going to happen and he knows the next step. He has three games ready like ‘plan A,’ ‘plan B,’ and ‘plan C’. He always takes three plans to the ground whether he batting, fielding, wicket-keeping or captaining the side. He plans in the night and then visualises in the morning using his sub-conscious mind,” Raina said.
Raina, who was part of the 2011 ICC World Cup and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy-winning squads under Dhoni, also likened the Jharkhand man to a chess player when it came to his on-field strategies.
“He has made all this around him. He has given the boys chance in the team thinking that this is my team. His game-reading skill was different. Like a chess player, no one can read his moves. He steps out and then takes a single. That is not his game but he wants to tell the bowler that 'I can step out as well'. He plays with the bowler as well,” he said.