Indian ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a great sportsman. The list of his achievements is endless. But he is not known only for his achievements. He is known for his conduct on and off field. And with his conduct he inspires his team mates. He is a true leader. He displayed this on Wednesday.

Indian cricket team lost the match against New Zealand by 19 runs. India’s young players were being criticised for playing lose shots and giving away their wickets to the Kiwi bowlers. Questions regarding this attitude were asked from Dhoni after the match. He didn’t put the blame on the youngsters. He defended them. He said if he told them to take singles and doubles they would get into their shells.

“The Nos 5 and 6 are quite new, they will learn their own way. Some will play big shots, some will take it deep. Cricket has changed, people like to play big shots,” PTI quoted the captain.

“It is important to not tell them to stop playing the shots; you don’t want them to go into their shells. They played their shots when the ball was in their area. They will learn after they have played 15-20 games. Once they have played 15-20 games, they will figure out what works for them and they will serve (for the country) for long,” he added.

The comments highlighted two things about Dhoni’s leadership. He was not impatient with the young players. And the loss had not disheartened him. Dhoni is trying to develop the players into great sportsmen. Dhoni also knows that they are the future of Indian cricket. These players needed to be encouraged. And Dhoni exactly did that.

Indian middle-order that included Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel collapsed, resulting in a 19-run loss for the team. Most of the players got out as they tried to hit ariel shots.