Mahendra Singh Dhoni is known as captain cool. His calm demeanor on and off the field has helped him earn this sobriquet. Dhoni’s calming presence and ability to absorb pressure has helped India win many games. But there have been certain odd incidents in Dhoni’s career where he had been at the center of the storm.
Stumpsandbails brings to you 5 controversial incidents of MS Dhoni’s career:
#5 The famous rotational policy of India’s Top-3
MS Dhoni was his own man. He was adamant when it came to having a team of his choice. Dhoni stood strongly by his players who he believed will deliver for him. This stubbornness came as displeasure for many especially the senior members of the squad who were not happy with the preferential treatment meted out to youngsters and the harsh treatment served to them. It happened to the likes of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid during 2007-08 and history repeated itself when players like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, and Gautam Gambhir were rotated just so that the team could accommodate Rohit Sharma in the playing XI. Dhoni had openly stated that he will try whatever best he can to ensure Sharma gets a game even if that means either of Tendulkar, Sehwag, or Gambhir miss out. Dhoni had also expressed his desire to have a gun fielding side and it isn’t possible to play all 3 of the combination together.
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#4 Third umpire’s error at Gabba, Brisbane in 2012
India were not having a great tour down under during their sojourn of Australia in 2011-12. They had convincingly lost the Test series 4-0 before being set back in the ODI’s too. The emotions were getting the better of MS Dhoni too who was on the verge of losing his captaincy. When Michael Hussey’s wicket was referred for stumping with the third umpire, it felt for a moment that Hussey had some part of his foot behind the crease. But to everyone’s surprise, the umpire gave him out and the Indian team started celebrating. But the joy was short-lived as Hussey was asked to come back by the on-field umpires. This did not go down well with MS Dhoni who vented his anger at Billy Bowden for making that decision.
#3 Dhoni’s stoic silence about the IPL spot-fixing scandal in 2013
Chennai Super Kings led by MS Dhoni were the team to beat in the IPL after the first 6 seasons. They had won the title twice, made the final 5 times, and qualified for playoffs every single time. But the news of CSK being involved in the spot-fixing fiasco opened a can of worms. The franchise’s principal consultant, Gurunath Meiyappan was found guilty in the proceedings. Post the completion of IPL 2013, the Indian team was set to play in the Champions Trophy in England in 2013. When the Indian team was set to leave England, Dhoni attended a press conference and when questions about CSK’s players’ involvement in the spot-fixing scandal were asked, Dhoni kept mum throughout the press conference. He did not respond to any of the questions and kept smiling sheepishly. It was one hell of a press conference.
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#2 The No-ball controversy in IPL 2019
MS Dhoni is the only player in the history of IPL to remain the captain of a team in all the seasons since its inception. Dhoni is Chennai Super Kings’s biggest brand ambassador. The passion with which Dhoni represents CSK is a sight to behold. But during IPL 2019, Dhoni took his passion a bit too far. Umpire Ulhas Gandhe had backtracked on a no-ball call, seeing which Dhoni seethed out in anger and barged mid-pitch questioning the umpire’s judgment. Bruce Oxenford, the other on-field umpire had to calm Dhoni down. But this incident left a bad taste on millions of fans watching the sport. They could not believe their hero could lose his cool in such a stunning fashion.
#1 When Dhoni barged into Mustafizur Rahman
India were stung by Bangladesh’s fiery spirit when they toured Bangladesh in 2015. The home team had set a target of around 300 for India to chase. The Indian team found the going difficult especially against debutant Mustafizur Rahman who was troubling India with his slow off-cutters. Apart from his bowling he even troubled Rohit Sharma when he came right in between Sharma and the diving crease. Sharma had then warned Rahman not to cross his path while running. Rahman repeated the act against captain MS Dhoni but he didn’t know what was about to hit him. Dhoni in a show of intent barged into Rahman who fell immediately owing to the impact of the collision. Dhoni was charged with 75% of his match fees being docked. But he showed young Rahman who is the boss.