“One of the things I really liked about playing under MS was that he never asked you to do anything that he himself didn’t do,” he said.
Dhoni retired from Test cricket at the end of the third Test against Australia, which ended in a draw on Tuesday. Dravid said Dhoni earned the respect of his teammates by setting an example with his own performance.
“The reality was he had to build a younger group who were coming through,” Dravid said.
“In a sense he was not the most communicative of captains, but he tried to earn your respect by walking the talk. He never took a backward step, and led more by example than by rhetoric or by words. More by actions,” he added.
Dravid said Dhoni deserves credit for inspiring a whole generation of small-town cricketers.
“For someone to come from a small town like Ranchi, to go on and captain India and play 90 Test matches, to do it the way he has, I think he brought a lot of dignity to the job of captaincy,” Dravid said.
Dravid also lauded Dhoni’s leadership style and called him an attacking captain.
“He was never defensive when captaining in India. When he had spinners, he was always attacking, on turning tracks, he was willing to force the game. It’s just overseas, and over the last three or four years, that I just think he maybe felt he didn’t have the bowling resources to be able to take 20 wickets, and he found himself, at many stages, always behind the four-ball,” Dravid said.