Preparing for the upcoming T20 series against India, South African all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius on Monday said he would like to inculcate the legendary MS Dhoni's calmness and self-belief. (More Cricket News)
The South African made his IPL debut for Chennai Super Kings this year after joining the franchise for a base price of Rs 50 lakh.
Pretorius played just six matches, scoring 44 runs and claiming six wickets with best bowling figures of 2 for 30.
The limited opportunities notwithstanding, Pretorius said playing alongside Dhoni has been his biggest gain.
"Playing my first IPL was a great experience. It was one of my bucket list items and that too to get the opportunity to play for CSK, one of the most successful franchises. I enjoyed every moment of it. You get a lot of responsibility as a player.
"I really enjoyed playing under Dhoni as well and batting with him, seeing the brand value he has in India just shows how big he is and what he has done for the sport in this country. It was awesome being a part of that," the 33-year-old said.
"The biggest thing that I have learnt from him is how calm he is at the crease, the way he takes the pressure off himself and tries to put it on to the bowler.
"He made me realise that at the death it's actually the bowlers who are under pressure. It was a fresh mindset and also he doesn't get too excited and is always optimistic.
"He believes he can do anything and I am going to try to bring his calmness and self-belief into my game," Pretorius added.
Asked about the series against India, Pretorius said it is a great opportunity for some South African players to cement their places in the national team ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia. It would also be great to know (the strengths and weakness) of the Indian team going into the World Cup.
"A strong performance in this series is key for players keeping the T20 World Cup in mind. India is a strong T20 side and if we do well in this series, we can consider ourselves as strong contender," he said.
"Performances in this series is going to go far to secure a spot in the World Cup.
Pretorius is targeting the series to establish himself as one of the best all-rounders in world cricket.
"You test yourself as a player against some of the best T20 players of the world. Personally, I want to push myself and make a good impact for the team. From a personal note, I want to win the series going into the World Cup.
"I want to establish myself as a leading T20 all-rounder in this series going into the T20 World Cup," he said.
The ICC T20 World Cup will be hosted by Australia from October 16 to November 13.
The five-match T20 series between India and South Africa starts here on Thursday, followed by matches in Cuttack (June 12), Visakhapatnam (June 14), Rajkot (June 17) and Bengaluru (June 19).