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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Cricket

MSD and the Moody blues
Rohit Bhaskar, Hindustan Times
Chennai, April 27, 2013
First Published: 01:01 IST(27/4/2013)
Last Updated: 02:14 IST(27/4/2013)

The headline may give the allusion of this being a piece on MS Dhoni and his love for a 1960s English symphonic rock band that went by the name ‘The Moody Blues’, but don’t bet on Dhoni’s iPod containing their hit song ‘Nights in White Satin’.

The ‘Moody’ in question here is former Australia all-rounder, Tom Moody; the blues don’t follow the pentatonic scale but nevertheless have an innate sense of melancholy.

Dharamsala and Chennai are as different as night and day, Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad owners are as similar as chalk and cheese.

And yet for Moody, it’s the same old tune. MS comes, MS sees, MS conquers.

It was in 2010 up in the hills, with the scenic Dhauladhar range as a backdrop, that Dhoni played one of the T20 league’s most memorable innings, clobbering an unbeaten 54 off just 29 balls against the Tom Moody-coached KXIP and let out a war cry in a rare show of emotion for a man whose ‘Captain Cool’ moniker is one of the game’s most befitting.

Big match player
Requiring 16 off the final over, Dhoni got his team home with two balls to spare and sealed a spot in the playoffs in their last match of the regular season.

CSK would go on claim the title that year, and this was the moment that turned it around for them.

On Friday night in hot and humid Chennai, Moody was again in the dugout, this time as the Sunrisers Hyderabad coach, as Dhoni played another blinder. The CSK skipper got 67 off just 37 balls.

Requiring 15 off the final over, Dhoni again got his team home with two balls to spare.

If it was South African speedster Juan ‘Rusty’ Theron who got the stick from Dhoni three years ago, it was another South African pacer who was at the receiving end on Friday - Dale Steyn.

After the match, when Moody made his way to the press conference you could see a sense of disbelief in his eyes at what had just transpired.

Asked about that innings in Dharamsala, vis-à-vis the innings he had just seen, Moody said with a deadpan expression, “I’d managed to forget about that knock.”

Well, here’s another one which he might want to consign to the nether regions of his hippocampus.


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