Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni, in order to break barriers with young cricketers, used to set up hookah in his room and allowed everyone to hang out and have a chat about different facets of the game, Australian batsman George Bailey has revealed.
In a video posted on the Facebook page of Cricket Australia after Dhoni captained Team India for the 200th time in ODIs in the game against Afghanistan in Asia Cup, Bailey paid tributes to the 2011 World Cup-winning captain and said, “He likes smoking a bit of the sheesha or the hookah. So, he quite often would set that up in his room, and it was very much open door policy. You would go in and quite often find a lot of younger players there.
“For India or lot of other cricket teams, it can be hierarchical, but he certainly broke that down. You just find yourself in his room late at night chatting inevitably about the game or different facets of the game with different people. It’s a great way to break down barriers,” he added.
The former Australia skipper further revealed how Dhoni would inspire bowlers by often introducing new bowling plans on the field “He can really panic some bowlers, it’s quite funny going into some bowling meetings because he would never come to them. The bowlers would spend their time looking at wagon wheels and preparing how are they gonna bowl to the batsman and they walk out to the field and have the bowl in their hand and MS would just point in a completely different direction. You can see a few of the bowlers’ eyes start to spin,” the 36-year-old said.
“He has such confidence, such a steely determination and belief that he inspires the bulk of the bowlers to do the right thing,” Bailey added.
In the video, Bailey also praised the 37-year-old Indian wicketkeeper-batsman for his calmness and serenity. “He is just a picture of calmness and serenity. It’s pretty amazing. I am in aura of nearly all the Indian players, the pressure they play under in, the scrutiny they face. But MS, if he does feel pressure, I have never seen him. And I have seen him walk to the wicket with games all but impossible to win. But he never belies that and finds a way to get you home,” he said.
“The greatest thing I took from MS was just the ability of him to impact the calmness of the team with his calmness. With the chaos, and whatever is happening in the game numerous times, you see him being so calm behind the wickets. With the bat in his hand, you can certainly feel he’s got a plan and he’s got something covered here and it’s gonna be okay,” Bailey added.
Meanwhile, Dhoni reached another milestone in his glittering cricket career on Friday during the Asia Cup 2018 final against Bangladesh which India won by three wickets. He became the first Asian wicketkeeper to affect 800 or more dismissals in international cricket. He is now third in the list of most dismissals by a keeper in cricket.
South Africa’s Mark Boucher leads the pack with 998 dismissals to his name while Australia’s Adam Gilchrist is second with 905 dismissals across all the formats of the game.