MS Dhoni reflected om reaching full circle as Indian skipper ahead of the T20 World cup final © AFP
By Kushan Sarkar
Mirpur: Apr 5, 2014
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was at his pragmatic best on the eve of the ICC World T20 2014 final against Sri Lanka as he said “controversies are big part in Indian cricket” and his name was associated with almost every good or bad thing that happens in Indian cricket.
“Over the years that I have been the captain I have seen almost everything. There is nothing really that I have not seen in cricket. Controversies are big part of Indian cricket and I have been through all it.
There’s hardly any good or bad in Indian cricket that happens without my name,” Dhoni replied to a question about how he has internalised the tremendous pressure associated with his job.
Just before the start of the T20 World Cup, Indian cricket found itself in another controversy as Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President N Srinivasan was embroiled in a court case which led to his ouster and Dhoni’s name also cropped.
It was alleged that in a report that Dhoni actually lied to a probe panel when he said that Gurunath Meiyappan was mere a cricket enthusiast and was not a Chennai Super Kings (CSK) official. BCCI, however, had sprung to his defence in the Supreme Court saying he had never said such a thing.
The skipper said that he likes to keep the pressures associated with his captaincy at the stadium only.
“I leave it (the pressure) at the stadium because that’s the best thing that I can do. We have seen Indian cricket perform at their best and at the same time we had to go through a lean patch where we had really tough times. I know there are certain things that are in my control. I look to move in that direction rather than thinking or living a thought that’s beyond my control and that really helped me.
“It’s been an interesting time, ups and downs. That’s all it’s all about. In International sport it doesn’t matter which game you are playing. It has taught me a lot and it’s still a learning curve for me and hopefully it will teach me many more in coming life after cricket,” Dhoni said in a philosophical tone.
When someone asked him how was the mood back then in 2007 on the eve of their big final against Pakistan, Dhoni said in sarcastic tone, “Yaar chaar din pahle ki baat humein yaad naahin rahti aur aap saat saal pahle ki baat puch rahein ho (I don’t remember what happened four days back and you are asking me about what happened seven years back?!)
“It is very difficult to recall as to what we felt just on the eve of that 2007 final. Obviously, I can say that there was a lot of excitement back then as it is now. We hope it will be an interesting final.”
When asked if he assesses his leadership, Dhoni answered in his typical way. “That’s not really for me to decide because from outside, you can judge it better than me. I have been given the responsibility and I try to fulfill it to the best of my potential. At the same time, as an individual, you will make mistakes and as a captain, I feel it is very important that if you commit a mistake, you go out there and admit it.”
He then made it clear that a captain is as good as his team because he can only decide but execution depends on someone else.
“It won’t always go your way because the captain is almost 98 percent of the time, he decides on something but it is somebody else who has to fulfill the job. Ultimately, it depends on the person and how he responds to the situation.
You can try to be honest to yourself, read the game and decide something. If it doesn’t work, you stand up and take the responsibility because that’s what your job needs you to do.”
He is known as ‘Captain Cool’ but this coolness according to him came as he was able to control his emotions in trying circumstances.
“It’s not that I was a calm person during my growing up years. I also did not like to lose. When I was younger, I found it hard to control my emotions and it used to be difficult for me. But then over a period of time, I learnt to control my emotions.
“If emotions are of personal nature, irrespective of the circumstances, you should be able to control those. That’s what I believe in and I have also benefited from this thought process. Because there are situations in a match, where you can be tempted to take a decision based on emotions but then you need to think practically also,” Dhoni stated.