When MS Dhoni asked his men not to publicly celebrate ODI win vs Australia

first_imgMahendra Singh Dhoni is called ‘Captain Cool’ for his calm demeanour on and off the field. His ability to keep emotions under check even in the most heated moments is what earned him the tag.And, as time passed by, he tried to instill this attitude in his teammates and youngsters. We all know that MSD stayed away from being animated on the field to avoid pressure or bring down anybody’s morale. But now an interesting fact has come out in a new book written about Dhoni, where it shows how thoughtful and forward-thinking he is in the middle of an intense cricket match as well.In Bharat Sundaresan’s new book — The Dhoni Touch, Sundaresan revealed how Dhoni asked his teammates not to go overboard with their celebrations when India were on the verge of beating Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 2008.Dhoni felt that if they will celebrate vociferously, Australians will feel that the Indian victory was a fluke. Dhoni’s point was loud and clear: This will continue to happen and this is not an upset. And, all this happened just 15 games into his ODI captaincy.The Australians were the world champions and Dhoni was a relatively young captain. Led by the pacers, India bowled out the mighty Aussies for a paltry total of 159 from 43.1 overs in the 4th match Commonwealth Bank Series. Ishant Sharma had taken four wickets while Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan bagged three and two, respectively. Matters would have been worse if Michael Hussey had not played an unbeaten knock of 65 from 88 balls.advertisementComing into bat, India lost Virender Sehwag early and Irfan Pathan was promoted up the order to get some quick runs with an in-form Sachin Tendulkar. He didn’t manage to get the runs but hung in there before perishing for a 30-ball 18. Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir then struck a 35-run stand for the third wicket before Gambhir fell for 21. Tendulkar fell soon after and was followed by Yuvraj Singh. India were 102/5 from 28.3 overs with a young Rohit Sharma and captain MS Dhoni at the crease.With just one recognised batsman left in the tank and Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson breathing fire, it was upon Dhoni and Rohit to take the visitors past the finish line or at least close. The pair did manage to do so but Dhoni then did something unusual, with only 10 runs left to win.”It was only the fifteenth ODI as captain for MS Dhoni, and he was at the crease with Rohit Sharma. With 10 runs to win, he called for a needless change of gloves. In cricket, it’s generally with a pair of gloves that you see information arriving from the dressing room. Dhoni was doing the opposite though. He was sending a poignant message back to the pavilion. ‘Nobody will celebrate on the balcony once we win this match.’ MS Dhoni remained not out on 17 off 54 balls in the match (ICC Photo)”Meanwhile, in the middle, Dhoni was handing down instructions to Rohit, on how the youngster should conduct himself while shaking hands with the Aussies once the match got over. He wanted it to be as tepid as possible. ‘When they give their hand, just firmly hold yours out without folding it like an obligation, but don’t overdo it. And just stare blankly at them without any hint of excitement.'” wrote Bharat Sundaresan in his new book.This was during the time when Australians were on top of their game and beating them in their own backyard was a big deal. Ricky Ponting and his men believed that every loss was an ‘upset’. India’s pacers dominated the game and barring a minor hiccup, India had more or less cruised to their target and Dhoni wanted to give counterpart his version of the brush-off.”This was Mahi’s way of saying it’s no big deal. My bowlers got them all out for 160 and we are chasing it down, usme kaunse badi baat hai (there’s no big deal in it). 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,” adds Sundaresan.Dhoni’s tactics clearly worked and they went on to win that tri-series, involving Sri Lanka as the third team, by winning two of the three finals against the mighty Australians. After the T20I World Cup win in South Africa and a dominating performance Down Under, Dhoni the captain had announced himself and more glory followed.advertisementDhoni also led India in 72 T20Is, the most by a captain. Under his leadership, India won 41 T20Is and lost 28. One was tied and two others failed to produce a result.Dhoni led India in 60 Tests and won 27. The only black spot on his CV was India’s poor overseas record in Test cricket.Dhoni still remains the only captain in history to win all three ICC tournaments – the World T20 (2007), World Cup (2011) and the Champions Trophy (2013). He also led India to the top of the ICC Test rankings during his tenure as captain.last_img

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