MS Dhoni has chosen not to be belligerent about the IPL spot-fixing controversy© Getty Images
By Taus Rizvi
Not for nothing is Mahendra Singh Dhoni known as Captain Cool. Even as the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing controversy raged back in India, the skipper betrayed no emotion and even fell back on his wit to get rid of uncomfortable questions.
As controversies surrounding IPL dominated in the last few days, Team India did not let it affect them and concentrated on their game in the field.
As dust settled, India notched up another victory, this time against Bangladesh, in the ICC World Twenty20 and made it to the semi-final stages.
Full coverage of Supreme Court hearing on IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal
Though the Indian team management had, a day before, chosen to not send Dhoni to pre-match pressers, the skipper turned up for the post match interaction with the media. However, he had a condition. “No questions related to the controversies”.
When a journalist asked him about the IPL-related events happening back home, he retorted. “In India you can ask them. Only 40 minutes flight.” He then reiterated that he will not talk about the controversy.
So how did the team manage to keep their focus in such trying situation? “A good dressing room atmosphere, belief in yourself and enjoying each other’s success, simply you can put everything onto it because lot of things happen around cricket but you have to be focused when you are representing your country. That is one thing that this team has done really well,” he said.
“And of course accepting the challenges, enjoying them, trying to prove that you are one of the best when it comes to international cricket and once you are in as a batsman you want to take the team through. If you are bowling well on that particular day you want to take wickets for the team, if you are a part-timer the same thing implies. It is all about the dressing room atmosphere and we have kept it really nice,” he added.
Dhoni summed up the three victories as good performances. “We have given a very good performance so far. There are still some areas where we can improve. Fielding too has been good. Yes, we have dropped some catches but we have seen in this tournament that quite a few catches have been dropped. All teams are struggling when it comes to catches [in the deep].
“If our middle order has not been tested then it’s beyond our control. We can’t do much about it. Virat [Kohli] has batted well and so has Rohit [Sharma]. Everybody has a batted a bit, Suresh Raina done a bit, Yuvi [Yuvraj Singh] also has got some hit. It’s only Jadeja and Ashwin who haven’t got to bat at all. All we can do that for them is that give them the priority in the next matches, send them up the order. We will see how it goes,” he said.
(Taus Rizvi is a Principal Correspondent with DNA. A club-level cricketer, he believes cricket helps in knowing a person’s character. Taus can be followed on @rizvitaus on Twitter. The above news has been republished with permission from DNA, where it first appeared)