MS Dhoni had an episode where even the great ‘Captain Cool’ was defeated, but was always known for his calm demeanor. Some of those moments were captured on TV. It’s like staring coldly at Mitchell Johnson for death after colliding with a former Australian speedster, or screaming at Manish Pandey at the non-striking end for not paying attention. At one point, he walked onto the pitch in a fit of rage during an IPL match, confronted the on-field umpires over a no-ball call, and reacted with countless cockiness to journalists trying to make his peg.
However, in R Sridhar’s biography, one instance of Dhoni’s anger emerged. There, former India captain Dhoni mentioned how he gets angry with his players. Dhoni, who has always set the bar high for defense, spoke out at the sagging shoulders of his teammates who had come a long way from 2011 World Cup-winning India.
“Going back to our early days with the Indian team… per MS input we started defending in order with the World Cup in mind. We were playing West Indies in October 2014 at Feroz Shah Kotla. won comfortably, but really sucked on the pitch. MS was furious that he perceived his lack of effort and lower fitness standards.” .
After losing the first ODI and trailing 0–1 in the series, India took the second match by 48 runs, but the weakness continued. Had it not been for the captain’s unbeaten 51 of 40, India would have struggled to reach 263/7. At one stage West Indies cruised to 170/2 before losing 8 wickets for 45 runs and being bowled out for 215 runs. A visibly upset Dhoni said after the match: Socks must be worn. We haven’t lived up to our potential. This game is an important eye opener for us. We’re on the winning side, but we could have lost this.” As the team returned to the locker room, as Sridhar noted, the players listened quite a bit from MSD.
“In the locker room, he tore the team to pieces and gave them an ultimatum. He made it clear that if they didn’t meet certain standards in defense and fitness, they wouldn’t qualify for the World Cup, whatever you name it. That’s the kind of defensive culture he wants to build in whiteball cricket. showed me,” he added.
The match Sridhar is referring to is the second ODI in the infamous Windies withdrawal series. Initially consisting of 5 ODIs, 3 Tests and 1 T20I, the tour was reduced to 4 one-day internationals after the third match was canceled due to Cyclone Hudhud. During the 4th ODI at Dharamsala, then West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo announced during the toss that the team was abandoning the remainder of the tour due to a pay dispute between the players and the West Indies Cricket Board.