From the moment Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his blue battalion lumbered onto the ground, just when Darren Sammy was fashioning a genuine high-fiver, the shutterbugs were fixed on them. For a few fleeting moments, it strayed onto the spectacular scenes of jubilation that rolled on. But once the din and bustle sank in, the focus was squarely back on Dhoni and his men.
As soon as the celebratory excesses ceased, Dhoni rushed to join his Bangladeshi counterpart Mushfiqur Rahim for the toss. A part-grin, part-smirk, as he won the third successive toss and elected to bowl again, Dhoni hasted through the routines and rejoined his teammates, who had already going through the paces in the makeshift nets.
Whatever conspiracy theories and hazy speculations were doing the rounds, Dhoni seemed unaffected. There were, laughably, even rumours of him consenting to relinquish captaincy. Going by the way he controlled the game, the postulation seemed untimely.
After all, Dhoni is a battle-hardened pro, having overcome indifferent circumstances and mind-numbing troughs aplenty in his career. He wouldn’t be budged by random musings. This storm, he would reckon, too shall pass. Then, reading Dhoni’s psychology from the comforts of the armchair or the confines of press box is futile. For, few cricketers have seemed so impenetrable to delve into the psyche and glean shades of the persona. There were those who wished for India’s defeat, so that Dhoni would address the press, were in for a different surprise as he walked into bat at the fall of Rohit Sharma. And as is his habit, he wrapped off India’s eight-wicket win with a thunderous six over long-on.
More surprise was in store, as Dhoni serenely walked into the press conference, his visage hardly concealing any anguish. There no haste, no controlled animosity. He patiently answered the queries before he was invariably probed on the “affairs back home.” With his typical dash of humour , he jested, “Why not go home and ask those questions (to those who wrote it)? It’s just 40 minutes from here,” his repartee had the floor in splits.
Shortly, he was asked how his team manages to sustain poise in such adversity. “Well, the dressing room atmosphere is terrific. In Indian cricket, lot of things keep happening. But you shouldn’t be affected by such things when you are representing your country. As far as we are concerned, we just think about winning every game and playing to our potential,” he emphasised.
If at all there was any intangible unease in the room at the start of the presser, it had well eased by the time he left. Captain “cool” has quelled another storm.