'MS ripped the team to shreds; gave them an ultimatum': Sridhar says Dhoni was once 'furious' after India's shoddy show
One instance of MS Dhoni losing his temper has emerged in R Sridhar's biography, where the ex- fielding coach mentioned how the former India captain was left seething at his players.
MS Dhoni has always been known for his calm demeanour even though there have been episodes when even the great 'Captain Cool' lost it. Some of those moments have been captured on TV – like the icy cold death stare to Mitchell Johnson after colliding with the former Australia speedster or screaming at Manish Pandey at the non-striker’s end for not paying attention to him. He once angrily walked on to the pitch during an IPL match to confront the on-field umpires over a no-ball call, to go with those countless cheeky responses to journalists trying to make their own pegs.
However, one instance of Dhoni losing his temper has emerged in R Sridhar's biography, where the ex- fielding coach mentioned how the former India captain was left seething at his players. Dhoni, who has always set high standards of fielding – one that went a long way in India winning the 2011 World Cup – did not mince words looking at the dropping shoulders of his teammates.
Also Read - 'Dhoni said, look Virat, you'll have to think about the team. Kohli's reply...': Sridhar narrates unheard tale
"Getting back to my early days with the Indian team... following MS' inputs, we began to get out fielding house in order with the World Cup in mind. We were playing West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla in October 2014 - a match we won comfortably but where we were absolutely shoddy on the field. MS was furious at what he perceived to be lack of effort and dipping fitness standards," Sridhar, who became the fielding coach in 2014, wrote in his book ‘Coaching Beyond’.
India, who had lost the 1st ODI and were trailing 0-1 in the series, took the second match by 48 runs but frailties persisted. Had it not been for the captain's unbeaten 51 off 40 balls, India would have struggled to reach 263/7. At one stage, West Indies were cruising at 170/2, before imploding to lose eight wickets for 45 runs and getting bowled out for 215. A visibly upset Dhoni had said after the match: "I feel quite a few things are missing. We have to pull our socks up. We have not played to our potential. This game is a crucial eye opener for us. We are on the winning side, but we could have lost this." As Sridhar pointed out, once the team returned to the dressing room, the players received quite an earful from MSD.
"In the dressing room, he ripped the team to shreds and gave them an ultimatum, making it clear that if they didn't meet certain standards in fielding and fitness, they would not make the World Cup cut, no matter what name they answer to. That showed me the kind of fielding culture he was looking to establish in white-ball cricket," he added.
The match Sridhar is referring to is the second ODI of the infamous Windies pullout series. The tour which initially comprised five ODIs, three Tests and one T20I, was reduced to four one-day internationals after the third match was cancelled due to cyclone Hudhud. At the time of the 4th ODI in Dharamsala, the then-West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo revealed during the toss that the team was abandoning the rest of the tour due to a pay dispute between the players and the West Indies Cricket Board.