MS Dhoni bonded with young cricketers over hookah: George Bailey
Former Australia T20I captain George Bailey has revealed that Mahendra Singh Dhoni used to have hookah sessions with young cricketers to make them feel comfortable and break the barrier between senior and junior cricketers, during his time in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Bailey was referring to the time when he played under the leadership of Dhoni — Chennai Super Kings (2009-12) & Rising Pune Supergiant (2016) — in India’s T20 league.
“He likes smoking a bit of the sheesha or the hookah. So, he quite often would set that up in his room, and it was very much open door policy. You would go in and quite often find a lot of younger players there. For India or lot of other cricket teams, it can be hierarchical, but he certainly broke that down,” Bailey said in a video posted by Cricket Australia
“You just find yourself in his room late at night chatting inevitably about the game or about different facets of the game or about different people and with different people it’s a great way to break down barriers,” he added.
In the recently concluded Asia Cup, Dhoni was named the skipper for the 200th time in ODIs after India opted to rest skipper Rohit Sharma for the dead-rubber against Afghanistan in the Super Four stage of the tournament.
Tributes poured in from around the world after Dhoni added another feather to his already illustrious cap. Cricket Australia too paid tribute to Dhoni by sharing a video in which Bailey revealed this interesting information about the former India skipper.
Bailey also heaped praise on Dhoni’s ability to stay calm under pressure and the Australian refers to it as the biggest thing that he learnt from playing along side him.
“The greatest thing that I took from him was his ability to remain calm to impact the calmness of the team. With the chaos and whatever might be happening on the game on numerous occasions, when you saw him being so calm behind the wickets or with the bat in hand, you firmly believe that he’s got a plan,” Bailey said.