Pressure. pressure. hmm, let me think. For a guy who talks the same way he bats straight and hard, it was a difficult question to answer. The word that most cricketers dread is alien to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. And after much thought, finally comes out with a single-liner: ‘Will to succeed when conditions are adverse.’
At present, everything is going right for the Jharkhand cricketer in India, the success on the cricket field is directly proportional to the number of commercial opportunities and Sunday morning was yet another opportunity. Dhoni was signed up by NDTV for a period of one year during which he will be a part of special programmes, interviews and views aired on the channel.
He’s seen some of teammates struggle for form; he realises that a bad patch can come to anyone, but for the moment he’s content making the most of his good form. ‘Right now, I am playing well, my confidence level is up, so I just want to make the most of it. Bad patches in cricket are those phases over which we have no control, so it’s important that we contribute when things are going well for you.
“The World Cup is just a few months away, so it’s important that I keep doing well and don’t let any negative thoughts come into my mind,” he says.
An integral part of Team India, Dhoni has batted up and down the order, contributed runs in a heap and played second fiddle too. But he feels there are still a fair bit of challenges yet to be met. “Performing back-to-back, opening the innings there’s a lot to do for me in this team. I hardly get time to plan my innings out, I don’t know when I have to walk out to bat; usually I plan walking up to the crease. I want to plan quickly and adapt to situations, meet the demands of the game,” he adds.
A really contentious issue of late “Dhoni joins the list who believes that rotation policy adopted by the board is the most ideal solution to prevent burnout of players.” Yes, there’s a lot cricket and every cricketer wants to play maximum matches possible, but at the same time every cricketer needs to have a break.
“When a rotation policy is there, there is no issue of burnout. We get enough rest in between matches to recharge our batteries. Look at Irfan Pathan, he’s performed really well after having a short break, so it gives every player a chance to excel. Rotation allows other guys in the 14-15 member squad a chance to gain experience so that when the right time comes he can also excel.”
He, however, refused to buy the theory that with so many players staking claim, rotation might lead to insecurity among players about losing their places in the side. “I don’t think the players are insecure about their places. This unit is playing well, we are gelling well, there’s no set benchmark and there’s a lot of faith in us.”
Dhoni’s main strength, according to coach Greg Chappell, has been his clear thinking and ability to learn fast. Dhoni describes himself in simple terms: “With the gloves on, I am a “keeper, with the bat in hand I am batsman.” And to his credit, he’s climbed a few steps in both these departments, perhaps even in bowling - “I even bowled with the new ball in a Test match,” he adds in jest.
On a more serious note, he admits that a lot of success has been attributed largely to the willow, but he’s put in ample work on improving his wicketkeeping too.
The forthcoming West Indies tour, according to him, is a learning lap that will measure the distance they need to cover for the World Cup at the same venue next year. And just like the team, personally, he’s got no concerns heading into the tour and is brimming with confidence.
Source:India SportsMore on:India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, May 12th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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