MS Dhoni brushed aside concerns by pundits over his batting form in recent times, stating that his critics’ ‘views should be respected’.
A few former India cricketers, including Ajit Agarkar, recently raised questions about Dhoni’s Twenty20 International future, kicking up quite a storm. VVS Laxman also seemed to be on the same page as former pacer on Dhoni’s T20 career.
However, the two-time World Cup winning captain, as is his wont, seemed unperturbed. “Everybody has views in life and it should be respected,” Dhoni said when he was asked to comment on Agarkar’s remarks.
Dhoni struggled to get going in a pressure situation during a chase as India lost by 40 runs in the second T20I against New Zealand in Rajkot.
The 36-year-old, insists that he is still motivated to don the India colours. “The biggest motivation is being a part of the Indian cricket team. You have seen cricketers who are not god-gifted, but even then, they have gone far. That’s because of the passion. The coaches need to find that out. Everybody doesn’t play for the country.”
Process over results
Dhoni was in Dubai to launch inaugurate the MS Dhoni Cricket Academy, his first international academy in association with Dubai-based Pacific Ventures. “I have always believed that process is more important than results. I never thought about results, I always thought what is the right thing to do at that point of time whether it’s 10 runs needed, 14 runs needed or 5 runs needed.
I was always so engrossed in the process that I never took the burden of thinking what if the result don’t go my way.”
Don’t try this at home
When asked to talk about his trademark helicopter shot, Dhoni warned budding cricketers against trying it, “[It is] something I learnt while playing tennis ball cricket on the roads of India.
It is difficult. In tennis ball cricket, even it’s hit from the toe of the bat the ball still travels a lot but in normal cricket it has to be the middle part of the bat, so it requires a lot of work. I don’t want them to play helicopter shots because they could get injured.”
Dhoni retired from Test cricket during India’s tour of Australia in 2014-’15 before stepping down as skipper of the limited overs side in 2016, allowing Virat Kohli to take on the mantle of captaincy in all three formats of the game.