This is the MS Dhoni Interview which was taken on September 12, 2005.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni…you have already played some scintillating knocks in your short career for India, so has the world seen your full potential yet or there’s much more to come out of you?
MS Dhoni: Yeah I think I have done reasonably well because my innings of 148 at Vizag was I think I had done almost everything in that. But the main thing is the consistency levels. So I think the expectations are very high and I have to score runs at regular intervals and whenever the team needs. So that’s one point, I have been working really hard on.
What’s the secret of the ‘Dhoni Power’?
MS Dhoni: I even don’t know the secret because I really don’t do the Gym works and all. But I started off as a footballer, so the training I did over there is helping me a lot.
And what about the story about the 4 litres of milk that you have daily?
MS Dhoni: Actually it is just a bit exaggerated. I love milk and I just have 1 litre of milk every day. Previously it used to be just plain milk, but now its shakes or whatever… like hot chocolates in any form.
Not only do you hit those big big sixes, but you also run excellently between the wickets inspite of the conditions being hot and humid. So are you a big fitness freak?
MS Dhoni: I am not really a fitness freak, I think its quite natural for me, I am from a place where the genes do matter, I am from the mountains. I am from Almora, Uttaranchal. Basically the genes are helping me and obviously I am working hard on my fitness right now with the training schedule given by Gregory King, our trainer. I am working hard on it but it’s quite natural to me.
One big question now, can Dhoni ever repeat or play a better innings than the 148 he hit against Pakistan at Vizag?
MS Dhoni: Yeah hopefully I am looking forward for it. With the new form of play that of the powerplays and all, if I get a chance I would really like to go even 1 run more than the 148. Obviously I like to get a 150. It’s not easy to repeat this kind of performance at the international level. But with this powerplay, I think it can be done. It’s not impossible, if I have done it once, I can do it once again.
What would happen if a batsman like Sehwag or Dhoni bat all the 50 Overs in a One Dayer?
MS Dhoni: I think we would be looking forward for a score of 350 or above. Easily 350 or more because there are batsmen who are even more devastating than even Virender Sehwag or myself like Shahid Afridi, like Adam Gilchrist and they are big hitters at the international level. With this powerplay rule, 350 would be a gettable score especially in the sub continent.
But what about the individual scores that can be scored by the Sehwags, Dhonis and others when they bat through all the overs?
MS Dhoni: I think some players would get the 200 runs mark. It wouldn’t be very hard I would say, somebody would get it.
Dhoni, now you have played 5 years of first class cricket and about 1 year of international cricket, so who has been the most difficult bowler you had faced so far and the best 6 you hit?
MS Dhoni: Hmmm…I think the best six, I have hit was in Kenya. I think I hit a Pakistani medium fast bowler. So I stepped out and hit him, it was a quite a long six and may be it was a 150 yards six or even more than that. I think that was the best six and the best bowler I have faced… I think I have faced lots of them. I mean I have faced bowlers who are very difficult on different kinds of tracks. So there are lots of bowlers like that both at international and domestic level and I wouldn’t like to name any one of them.
Where was that six, was it over the covers?
MS Dhoni: No it was straight down the ground, over the bowler’s head and over the camera man’s head and over the parking lot and it was gone.
Could you tell us about your background and how you have come to this level through the ranks of playing for small cricketing states like Bihar and Jharkand?
MS Dhoni: I think I started off as a footballer, I played couple of years of football and then shifted to Cricket as a school cricketer playing the schools cricket and I managed to get into the Under 16 Districts and then the Under 19s. We played the U19 finals in 1999-2000 and that was the season, six players of our team including me made their debut in the Ranji Trophy. 2000-2001, I played in the Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, I was very consistent in the domestic competitions. Last year we had gone to the India A tour of Kenya and Zimbabwe and that was the turning point, I performed well over there and got my berth in the Indian team on the tour of Bangladesh.
Dhoni was under John Wright and now Dhoni is under Greg Chappell, so has there been any difference you found in the methodology of the two?
MS Dhoni: Actually they are two different coaches, definitely there will be techniques and this and that things that differ from person to person. Hopefully it’s for the better of the team and hopefully we will start the next series with a positive note and definitely win some finals in the Tri Series that are coming up.
Talking about finals, what was it like in the Indian dressing room after going down in yet another final?
MS Dhoni: We were not feeling well you could say that. Because we had given them a good target of 277. But they started off well, they played well and we came back and then lost. We gave them a good fight but obviously would have loved to have won that game.
What are the things that you want to improve in your game currently?
MS Dhoni: Both…my batting and my wicket keeping. There are points like I would love to improve my keeping especially against the spinners. Like we have quality spinners like Harbhajan and Anil Bhai, so it’s really difficult to keep them particularly when they are bowling in the rough. So that’s one part you can say. Of course batting, I have been shifted a lot in the batting order, so the more I play, the more I would get used to the batting slots like batting at 6 or 7 or 3 or even opening. So lots and lots of things that are going on in my head…
MS Dhoni: Many people actually raise their eyebrows watching your footwork while batting. So do you think you can handle the best of the best bowlers in the future?
I think time is the best thing that can say about it. But I don’t think I can change much about it because that’s how I got into the international level and I think I would continue with that.
19 One Day Internationals and 525 runs, where do you think you are heading towards in your career?
MS Dhoni: Aaah…hopefully I would love to score as many runs as possible in the One Dayers. Obviously I love to score some runs at the Test Level too.
How do you spend your day when you are not having any cricket to play?
MS Dhoni: Actually I love music, I love driving particularly bikes. I love my bikes, I love playing computer games, I play quite a bit of badminton when I get time. But I love bikes more than anything.