Recently, in an interaction, former Indian skipper MS Dhoni gave an endoscopic peek into his leadership approach which was known to very people in the world. He said that when it comes to captaincy there is “nothing called common sense” and spoke about how he would look to break the ice with his team-mates, as captain.
On his 37th birthday, MS had revealed the learnings he has had as a leader of the national team. He revealed that the biggest challenge for him during his captaincy was instilling “common sense” in some players without hurting their egos. During a telecast on Star Sports, Dhoni said, “The biggest learning during my tenure as a captain was, that a lot of time, I used to think that this is common sense. But no, there is nothing called common sense. You think, ‘Oh, I don’t need to say’ or like ‘Yeh batane ke cheez nehi hai’, but in a team environment, you need to say.”
He further added, “There will be a few who are intelligent and they will be like ‘Areh yeh kya bol raha hai, yeh zaroorat nahi hai’ (Why is he telling this, we know this). But it’s not for them. They can figure things out. It is for the person who does not understand. But, at the same time, it is very bad to address it to one person, because then he will know that ‘accha yeh toh mujhe hi bol raha hai’ (Okay he has singled me out).”
Dhoni also asserted that having a minimalist approach helps the captain more often than not.
He said, “We try to spend time in an environment where you feel very comfortable. You need to break that ice, unless he gives me his feedback unless he talks to me I won’t really know what is going around in his mind. For me to understand the individual I need to spend time with him. Unless you know the individual it’s very difficult to advise that individual as to what he needs to do. And also the fact that you get to get inside his mind because everybody is different.”
The former Indian skipper feels that explaining to a player that why he is not in the playing XI is the most sensitive part for a captain as a player sometimes asks the reason for not finding a spot but in reality, he doesn’t want the answer for the same.
Moving ahead, Dhoni also explained the Harbhajan Singh-bike analogy, he said, “Just before the finals, at the press conference, this guy asked me, Harbhajan Singh was there and he didn’t bowl a single over. He is such an experienced player. And I said, ‘You know I have so many bikes and cars in the garage and I take the ride out, according to what I need. So, if I needed Bhajju Bhai at some point in time, I would have made him bowl. I had like seven bowlers. Raina didn’t bowl a single over in this IPL. So, at times, when you don’t need that particular bowler, why to make him bowl?”
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MS Dhoni also revealed the reason that why he always disappears in the background after receiving trophies.
Mahi explained, “Well, don’t you think, it is unfair that you play a team sport where the captain goes and receives the trophy? It’s like an overexposure. Let’s say that you already have an overexposure of like 15 seconds and after that, I don’t really think that you are needed to be there. Of course, we all like the celebration and you want to be part of it. But it’s not like that you have to be with the trophy. Also, maybe if you don’t spend enough time with the trophy, you get a chance or you want to win another one so that you get another of those 15 seconds.”