victory is like winning a million verbal duels’
Relaxed but hemmed
in by friends and family, India’s ODI captain MS Dhoni spoke to
SHANTANU GUHA RAY and GOUTAM DAS
at his home in Ranchi
went ballistic after the win but you were silent, quiet, as if you had
lost the match. What was going on in your mind?
I believe in action more than words. I was repeatedly hounded by Indian
reporters, who wanted my reactions on routine insinuations by some top
members of the Australian team. But I said nothing. The best answer is
your performance. A victory is like winning a million verbal duels. I
knew we would win and hence, refrained from reacting. I knew we would
give it back to them at an appropriate time. Donít blame me for keeping
quiet. Didnít you see me smiling (laughs)? We gave it back to them, and
Ganguly shirt incident at Lordís? You gave away your Twenty20 winning
shirt. Isnít that a little strange?
It was a kind of thanksgiving to that small child who constantly looked
at me, hoping I would pick him up and take him around the field. He was
watching us from the very start. I had to thank him. The best option was
to give him my shirt.
Many say it
was like Sunil Gavaskar winning the Benson & Hedges series and Ravi Shastri
picking up the Man of the Series and an Audi as the Champion of Champions
prize. What would you settle for, a Ferrari or a BMW?
Neither. I am not an automobile person. I am a bike person. How about
the best Harley Davidson in the world? Who will give it to me? You?
The last time
we met, you talked fondly about Adam Gilchrist, your hero. You actually
saw him retire. How was the feeling?
I felt sad, really sad. But then, I also felt happy because he would be
a part of the IPL and we will have more of this legendary cricketer. He
is not finished yet.
Pick one from
the current lot.
Praveen Kumar. He swings the ball amazingly.
He is good but he needs to watch his fitness.
your home. You are obviously enjoying your adulation...
See it from the other side of the fence. I’ve primarily lost my
privacy, but I am enjoying it thoroughly. I guess I cannot move freely
you the most? The constant media glare?
Can I avoid answering this one? But let me tell you that the support I
got from both the Indian and the Australian media during those tension-ridden
days was simply amazing.
wants you to name his daughter.
Give me a break. Itís just because my city loves me, I get such calls
from those in power. Thereís nothing more to it. Isnít that obvious?
is the emerging star from your city.
He proved once again that we are not just a state for minerals and coal,
we also supply top class players.
This has been
a long tour for you. What did you miss most?
I think I missed my home food and Jara and Sam, my two dogs. In fact,
when I entered home, I just rushed for them even before meeting my family
Has the city
changed, in terms of its infrastructure? What would you like to do?
I am a cricketer, so I can think about sports. I will be soon setting
up a cricket academy and I am in constant touch with the sports minister
and Chief Minister Madhu Koda. I do not think only about cricket. We are
a top hockey state and the game should get its due importance. I supported
the hockey players who protested when we were showered with cash awards
after the T20 win and they got nothing after winning the Asia Cup.
A last one,
the final dream?
It has to be the World Cup, the World Cup and nothing else…
Will you revert to your original hairstyle?
(laughs) I think I should. Give me three months and you will see a new