‘Just do what Dhoni is doing,’ Badrinath’s advice to cricketers dealing with mental pressure
MS Dhoni’s unprecedented mental toughness is renowned and his former India and Chennai Super Kings teammate Subramaniam Badrinath has credited the World Cup winning captain for his incredible approach in tackling pressure on and off the field. Badrinath, who played alongside Dhoni for six seasons at CSK between 2008 and 2013, feels the three-time IPL winning skipper sets the perfect template for cricketers to follow.
“For me, the epitome of mind skills training is MS Dhoni. Whenever I saw him with his captaincy, the way he approaches the game. I think he is the ultimate, the one guy who does not need any mind skill training. I think people can learn from him because he has maximised his potential into results. Whatever he is doing I think he is totally detached. That’s what helps him as well,” Badrinath told Indian Express.
“We talk about pressure, media, what people are going to write, we talk about everything. He is not bothered about anything else. He completely believes that whatever he is doing is right. That is the approach everybody needs to have. I would like to say that just do what Dhoni is doing as a cricketer. He is totally detached from everything automatically. When he is going out there, going about the business, it feels as though the 50,000 people watching him are not there. He is alone, he knows clearly in his mind what he needs to do, and he goes about it.”
Badrinath, who recently launched MFORE – a non-profit initiative offering Mind Conditioning Programs to achieve peak performance – weighed in on his limited chances with the Indian team. A domestic veteran with an experience of 95 IPL matches, Badrinath played two Tests, seven ODIs and one T20I for India. Surprisingly, despite scoring a crucial 43 in his T20I debut – against West Indies in 2011 – Badrinath wasn’t given a longer rope.
“I started on a high. What I could have done, it’s too late to actually talk about the selection and all that. I feel what I could have done much better with is the expectations... I started thinking about the future. That time I should have just been in the present,” he explained.
“When you are actually sitting and watching a player just playing on the TV. You just see the player is playing a shot and all that but there are 10,000 different thoughts going on in his mind. People don’t see that. If I had known all that I know now, I could have handled all that much better.”
Badrinath lauded former teammate R Ashwin, calling the offspinner the most mentally strong player within the Tamil Nadu camp.
“In Tamil Nadu, I think it’s R Ashwin. He is phenomenal the way he is. The way he thinks about the game. He is talented, he is blessed with a lot of talent, but he is the one who knows his cricket inside out,” he said. “He is the guy who knows his game. What he can do, what he cannot do. He is completely aware of even the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. I think he is completely in control of his game.”