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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Cricket

Burden of expectation no dampener for Dhoni, Co
Somshuvra Laha, Hindustan Times
Kingston, June 29, 2013
First Published: 00:17 IST(29/6/2013)
Last Updated: 10:22 IST(29/6/2013)

There is this tendency to associate the India's fortunes with a billion hopes. But the truth is that even a few hundred can make life difficult for MS Dhoni and his boys.

This was evident when the team was invited to a party hosted by the Indian High Commission on Thursday. The occasion provided an opportunity to mingle with Dhoni & Co on a cool evening, and with generous helpings of tandoori chicken and liquor on offer, it was like hitting the jackpot.

Dhoni, sporting a handlebar moustache, seemed to like his chicken. But he had to sneak to the back of the food pavilion to gulp down a drumstick after posing for pictures for almost 30 minutes. Once he agreed, there was no end to the requests. Even Bhuvneshwar Kumar wasn't spared. For the few seconds Shikhar Dhawan turned his back for a quick bite, a queue had formed behind him with similar requests.

Photographers had to adjust back and forth trying to capture the full frame of Ishant Sharma and his fans. Even though Virat Kohli was a pale shadow of the Gangnam dancer at Edgbaston last Sunday, he managed a smile every time a request came his way.

The hangover of the cross-Atlantic flight didn't matter, nor did the players' desire to retire to their rooms for an early morning training the next day.

Dhoni took the requests in his stride. The Champions Trophy may have had a soothing effect after the recent fixing mess, but he knows there is no end to expectations.

"The expectation, when it comes to the India cricket team, has always been the same," said Dhoni at the launch of the tri-series trophy earlier in the afternoon. "If things are moving, it is only in direction, which is up."


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