M.S. Dhoni maybe famous for the calmness with which he executes his duties as captain of a team but there are moments when he gets cross. His teammates at both Chennai Super Kings and India have spoken of the moments when Dhoni expresses his unhappiness with them and how that has an amplified effect because they are so rare.
CSK’s batting coach Mike Hussey shared one such moment recently which occured during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“The night before the qualifying final against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he (the video analyst) sent me this split-screen of Rashid Khan,” Hussey said on the ‘Lessons Learnt with the Greats’ podcast.
“When he (Rashid) runs in to bowl, when he bowls his leg-spinner, he holds his finger wide as he’s running in, and when he bowls a wrong ‘un, (he bowls) with fingers like this. And I thought – ‘Woah, this is good, but I am not sure if I should be throwing this out to the batsmen the night before this massive qualifying final’. So, I am sitting on this information, and I am going back and forth – ‘Should I, should I not, would I want it’,” said Hussey.
“And I said to myself – If we play this game tomorrow and lose, and Rashid Khan goes really well, and I have sat on this info, and I haven’t sent it out, I am not going to forgive myself. So, I decided to send it out to all the batsmen. But I did make sure I wrote: ‘You may want to use this, you may not. It is just here for your information. If you want anything, go for it, if not,” he added.
As it turned out, the information did not work in favour of Dhoni.
“Rashid Khan comes on to bowl, one of the very first balls he (Dhoni) faces, goes for the big cover drive – wrong’ un, bowled through the gate. And I’m thinking ‘Uh, gosh. Okay, no worries.’ And MS walks straight off the field, and I am sitting in the dugout, and he walks straight up to me and says ‘I’ll bat my own way, thanks,’ and sits back down,” said the former batsman.
Hussey said he feared he will now be sacked from the staff. But Dhoni later came up to him and spoke to him about the dismissal.
“As a coach, I thought my days are over forever! But, to MS’s credit, after the game, he was absolutely fantastic. He came up and spoke to me, and we had a good chat. He said that the information was correct, but for him, he needed time to go away and process it and practise it,” said Hussey.