When it comes to man-management, there are very few in world cricket who are even close to the former Indian skipper, MS Dhoni. Leading an international team for the first time is a task in itself and when it comprises of the players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, and other stalwarts, things were meant to intimidating.
Despite all those difficulties, Dhoni came out all guns blazing as a skipper and he has often been termed as one of the greatest cricketing brains to have graced the game. Paddy Upton, former mental conditioning coach of the Indian team, recently released a book named ‘Barefoot’ in which he made some startling revelations most notably about former India opener Gautam Gambhir.
Talking about Dhoni, Upton said Dhoni’s real strength is ‘his calmness and composure’. He wrote, “His (Dhoni’s) real strength is his calmness and composure, regardless of the situation of the game. Being such a strong leader, using his level-headedness in tough situations, he gives the other players permission to remain calm and composed. That I think is the real strength that he has.”
Upton also revealed about the legendary skipper took a unique step to ake his teammates reach on time and the schedule. He revealed that former Test captain Anil Kumble introduced a monetary fine for the latecomers before Dhoni added his own twist to it.
The former coach wrote, “When I joined the team Anil Kumble was the captain of the Test team and MS Dhoni was the captain of the ODI team. We had a very self-governing process. So we said to the team ‘is it important to be on time for the practice and team meetings?’ Everyone said yes it is. In the Test team, Anil Kumble said that the consequence would be a ten thousand rupees (INR 10,000) fine which the person who was late would have to pay.
He further added, “And then we had the same conversation with the one day team and there also MS (Dhoni) said that ‘yes there should be a consequence. So if somebody is late, everybody will pay ten thousand rupees fine!’ Nobody was ever late from the one day team again.”