When Captain Cool MS Dhoni Lost It & Gave A Piece Of His Mind To Teammates
Mumbai: Remaining calm and composed, without betraying any emotion, was MS Dhoni’s biggest quality.
He did give rivals a rare stare or an icy look, and once angrily walked on to the pitch during an IPL match to confront the umpire over a no-ball call, but the former Team India wicketkeeper-batter by and large was cool as cucumber.
However, there were circumstances which tested even ‘Captain Cool’.
Team India’s former fielding coach R Sridhar has written about one such instance when Dhoni was left fuming at his players.
Dhoni always emphasised on fielding and fitness, and demanded high levels from his teammates.
“We were playing West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla in October 2014 — a match we won comfortably but we were absolutely shoddy on the field. MS was furious at what he perceived to be lack of effort and dipping fitness standards,” Sridhar, who was named fielding coach earlier that year, writes in his book ‘Coaching Beyond’.
Having lost the 1st ODI of the series, India won the second match by 48 runs, but shortcomings persisted.
The West Indies were cruising at 170/2 chasing 264 before imploding to lose 8 wickets for 45 runs.
“I feel quite a few things are missing. We have to pull up our socks. We have not played to our potential. This game is a crucial eye-opener for us. We are on the winning side, but we could have lost this,” a visibly upset Dhoni had said after the match.
And once back in the dressing room, the skipper gave his players a piece of his mind.
“In the dressing room, he (Dhoni) ripped the team to shreds and gave them an ultimatum, making it clear that if they didn’t meet certain standards in fielding and fitness, they would not make the World Cup cut, no matter what name they answer to. That showed me the kind of fielding culture he was looking to establish in white-ball cricket,” Sridhar writes.
It was an eventful series as West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo revealed during the toss for the 4th ODI in Dharamsala that the team was abandoning rest of the tour due to a pay dispute between the players and West Indies Cricket Board.
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