The former Australian skipper and ex-Chennai Super Kings (CSK) teammate George Bailey revealed the secret in his tribute to MS Dhoni. In a video posted by cricket.com.au, Bailey said that Dhoni would try to ease the youngsters by smoking ‘hookah’ with them during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018.
We have a picture of Ravindra Jadeja smoking ‘hookah’ but not that of Dhoni. Here’s what Bailey said about the open door policy,
“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. You just find yourself in his room late at night chatting inevitably about the game or different facets of the game with different people. It’s a great way to break down barriers.”
During the Zimbabwe tour in 2017, the Indian players also posted a few photos while playing FIFA. It seems like he tried to build an environment where youngsters can gel with each other. On the other hand, Bailey revealed a few more things which may surprise Dhoni fans including impromptu changes in bowling strategy.
“He can really panic (sic) some bowlers, it’s quite funny going into some bowling meetings because he would never come to them. The bowlers would spend their time looking at wagon wheels and preparing how are they gonna bowl to the batsman and they walk out to the field and have the bowl in their hand and MS would just point in a completely different direction. You can see a few of the bowlers eyes start to spin.”
Bailey himself looked calm in his captaincy days rarely losing control. However, it was Dhoni’s calmness that he finds fascinating,
“The greatest thing I took from MS was just his ability to impact the team with his calmness. With the chaos, and whatever is happening in the game numerous times, you see him being so calm behind the wickets. With the bat in his hand, you can certainly feel he’s got a plan and he’s got something covered here and it’s gonna be okay.”