New Delhi: Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is known for his cool and calm demeanour, both on and off the field. In all the time he captained India across formats, he tried to instill this attitude in his team-mates and budding cricketers.
Dhoni’s calm persona on the field and ability to soak in pressure without making any fuss, has earned him the title of ‘Captain Cool’.
Cricket is a sport where tensions sore and people sledge to distract their opponents. At times, it goes out of hand and very personal. But, MSD feels that one should never use cuss words regarding mothers and sisters on the cricket field and believes that abusing the family members of the players will not affect the person in question and it goes to waste.
“‘Goli maarta hai apne style mein. He says the problem is if I allow my boys to give maa-behen ki gaali; it’s they and not the one being subjected to it who’ll feel the pinch of what they’ve done for the rest of the day’. He doesn’t believe in overt displays of aggression. He believes that if you want to hurt them, do it in your style, not in their way. If they believe in swearing, you don’t need to do it,” Bharat Sundaresan wrote in his book The Dhoni Touch.
In the 2014-15 Test series in Australia, which was riddled with incidents of players like Virat Kohli, David Warner and Brad Haddin being at each other’s throats, Dhoni spoke about how he never held his players back from a confrontation, but only asked them never to get personal. It’d been his opinion throughout. Dhoni wasn’t just good at defusing tetchy situations with the opposing team. He could, at times, put his own teammates at ease in a tense scenario,” Sundaresan added in his book that decodes one of the finest minds of Indian cricket.
This was back when the Australians were still at their indomitable best. Beating them meant a big deal to any opposition, that too in their own backyard at the mighty MCG. It was a period when Ricky Ponting’s team believed that every loss was an ‘upset’ and not just a win for their opponents. India had dominated this particular match from the beginning. Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan had gathered nine wickets between them and shot out the hosts for just 159. India had more or less cruised to their target and now Dhoni the rookie wanted to give his all-conquering, world-beating counterpart his version of the cold shoulder.
My bowlers got them all out for 160 and we are chasing it down, usme kaunse badi baat hai. If we celebrate wildly, the Aussies will be vindicated in their belief that this was an upset. We wanted to tell them that this is not a fluke. This is going to happen over and over again. The Aussies simply couldn’t handle it. They were shaken,’ a player from that tour revealed much later.
That wasn’t the only time during the Commonwealth Bank Series, which India eventually ended up winning, when Dhoni got the better of the Aussies at their own ‘mental disintegration’ game. Like he does with everything else, the Indian captain did it in his own style, without ever going overboard.