MS Dhoni’s fate hangs in balance

MUMBAI: An Indian tour of Zimbabwe doesn’t create the same buzz as a tour to Australia or England. This sentiment holds true for the fans as well as for the media. But if Mahendra Singh Dhoni, around whose future, there is plenty of speculation, is scheduled to speak to the media as captain, prior to the team’s departure for the three-match ODI and T20 series, the media contingent swells and is all ears.

After all, Dhoni pressers lately haven’t been sans drama. He accused a reporter in Bangalore, after India’s thrilling one-run win over Bangladesh in the ICC World T20, about not being happy with India’s victory. After the team’s defeat in the semi-final of the event to West Indies in Mumbai, an Australian journalist’s query about his future led to a mock Q and A session between Dhoni and the reporter. It became farcical and was almost gallows humour.

Coach should understand our culture, says MS Dhoni

Things didn’t quite get as restive as that, but the 16-minute interaction had its moments where the Indian limited-overs skipper did his best to ensure that the mask of Captain Cool doesn’t peel off.

After all, Dhoni is as dismissive of impertinence as he is with half-volleys. A reporter asked him about his views on team director Ravi Shastri’s statement on Virat Kohli and how he is ready to lead India across formats.

Dhoni had entered the plush press conference arena wearing a resplendent smile and crisp deep blue India jersey. The reference to Shastri’s views quickly wiped away that smile. “It’s not that I don’t enjoy the game. This decision will be taken by the BCCI , it’s not for me to decide,” he said sternly. The reporter asked him to translate whatever he said in Hindi. The skipper’s look got sterner.