As Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni spent around 45 minutes with the Nepali national team, U-19 and the women´s team at the TU Cricket Ground Kirtipur on Saturday afternoon, Nepali cricketers were on cloud nine.
Dhoni, who arrived inKathmanduon Saturday morning on the official invitation of the Indian Embassy inNepal, talked shop with Nepali cricketers at the center wicket of the TU Ground barring the media and other officials.
“He was down to earth and gave us tips on handling pressure during games,” said Nepali U-19 captain Prithu Baskota.
“When I asked him for captainship tips, he suggested to me to build a team spirit and know teammates´ strengths and weaknesses and to keep things simple and pressure free,” he added.
“Our coach used to tell us the same thing. But hearing the same from the World Cup winning captain has boosted our confidence,” said Baskota.
Dhoni suggested to the Nepali players to grow “step by step”.
“He suggested us not to dream about World Cup at once but to take things in stride gradually. He asked us to break down our targets and approach them one by one. For instance, he suggested to us to catch up withAfghanistan first,” said Paresh Lohani, the opening batsman of Nepali national team.
Dhoni suggested to players to work hard and stressed the need for developing infrastructure.
“Asked about how he despite coming from a small town made it to the Indian national team, he said he played as many matches as possible and kept on working hard to get the current position,” said Binod Das, former skipper of the Nepali side. “He also said that the association has to develop infrastructure,” said Das.
Das, said the meeting was fruitful as they got the opportunity to know about India´s World Cup victory from the horses´ mouth. “He said a captain must be able to use resources in a team and the pressure aotomatically goes down,” informed Das. “He also stressed on mental strength and continuous practice,” Das added.
The Indian captain also gave some batting tips to Nepali cricketers. According to Das, Dhoni suggested to watch the ball and play late while batting on a slow track. Likewise, when U-19 captain Prithu Baskota asked him about Australian wickets regarding Nepali U-19 team´s World Cup campaign, Dhoni suggested to the Nepali team to practice on cemented pitch with plastic balls.
“Besides all the tips and suggestions, we were happy to find him friendly. And, he didn´t forget to suggest to us to maintain simplicity despite achievements,” said Baskota.
Dhoni’s amazing sense of humor
It is well known that Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni renowned for his skills on the pitch, his instinctive decision making capability as a captain, his good looks and charming personality but very few might be aware of his amazing sense of humor.
With his witty comments, the inspirational skipper had the audience laughing in an interaction program on Saturday during his short visit toNepal.
When asked how he managed to be so cool under pressure, Dhoni said, “That’s easy because I sleep in the fridge. AC is not enough.”
When he was told to choose between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, he hit back saying, “Picnic or party?”
Dhoni also hinted that he had no desire of joining politics like Indian great Sachin Tehdulkar.
“I am very happy playing cricket,” he said, when asked if he had any plans of joining politics.