Picture this — MS Dhoni walks into a room where the air crackles with tension … all present are weighed down by the burden of their troubles. But, ever the soother, Dhoni has an aura of tranquillity around him. In a short span of time the tension dissipates and all are in a better frame of mind. This is the effect the Indian captain has on everyone, and it’s a lucky thing too because he steers the ship for Indian cricket at the moment.
That’s why it came as a bit of a surprise when MS Dhoni, on Saturday, admitted that there was a bit of unrest in the dressing room before the cricket action kick-off on the fourth day of the Gabba Test. Batsman Shikhar Dhawan was injured and Virat Kohli was asked to start the day with Cheteshwar Pujara in a short notice. Dhawan suffered a wrist injury during the nets before the start of fourth day’s play in Brisbane. India started the day at 71 for one still trailing by 26 runs.
“There was a lack of communication in our dressing room over whether Shikhar will go into bat or Virat. We did not handle that situation well,” Dhoni said after the second Test match, which lost to Australia by four wickets.
“We were having a bat at the nets, the wickets were not very good and he got hit. He didn’t react too badly so we thought he was fine to bat. By the time he came in he was in a lot of pain and unable to bat. We were only able to give Virat 5-7 minutes to prepare. That created some unrest in the dressing room,” Dhoni was quoted as saying in the media.
But whatever said and done, it’s also true that Dhoni wasn’t too happy with the unrest atmosphere in the dressing room – otherwise he wouldn’t have said what he said about the incident. This is again another trait of Dhoni, which shows how focussed he is as a player when a Test match is underway.
As a captain, he knows what exactly he has to do and doesn’t like losing focus at any given time. The fourth day of the second Test match in Brisbane was one such day where Dhoni expected the team to display its best skills in the middle.
Despite his team losing the plot, the Indian captain didn’t lose his cool after the match got over. He exhibited great courage by standing behind his team by assuring the cricket fans that a bright future is not far off. He is indeed made of sterner stuff. “He is a different sort of a leader. He doesn’t allow any pressure come to you as long as he is at the helm of affairs,” one of the players says.
To the ones who are young and inexperienced, Dhoni makes you feel at home. He doesn’t throw his weight around and always ready to greet the newcomers with a smile. The best part about this team is that everyone wants to do something for his cool headed leader. Even though, this team hasn’t managed to make any such purchase in the series so far for the captain, but the players have promise.
Take for example, Steven Smith, the Australia’s 45th Test captain, who is leading the side for the first time in his career. But those who have been close to him tells Dr Cricket that he showed great promise even when he was not playing for Australia. Like Dhoni, he is soft-spoken, thinks cricket all the time, very passionate about his game and has a good cricketing brain with extreme positive mind-set. Off the field as well, Smith has a lot of similarity with Dhoni. Mostly, he keeps to himself and soft-spoken and can’t stay away from discussing cricket for a long time.
These are, of course, young days for Smith as a captain, but if he needs to take lesson on how to run a team of India’s nature, Smith probably would have to be a student in Dhoni’s school. Yes, it’s true that Smith’s team is ahead of Dhoni’s. But head to head, not many can match him in world cricket for his all-round abilities!