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Mum's the word

Friday, 28 March 2014 - 8:40am IST | Place: DHAKA | Agency: DNA
Dhoni stays away from customary presser but goes through routine on match eve; media manager says captain will not face media unless team loses.
  • MS Dhoni gestures as he interacts with teammates during a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka on Thursday AFP

The pre-match press conference ahead of the India-Bangladesh tie was the most awaited event on Thursday after the Supreme Court's observations on the IPL fiasco.

It was when the media would get an opportunity to grill Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, also India Cements vice-president and Chennai Super Kings captain, for his reactions over the apex court's observations.

However, as was expected, the team think-tank that includes the captain himself decided against sending Dhoni and instead sent Rohit Sharma for the press conference.

The guidelines were already issued by Team India media manger. "No questions outside the tournament will be asked," said Dr RN Baba before a senior journalist asked him not to tell journalists their job since they know already the batsman is no position to answer them.

Still, Sharma, who had been fluently answering all the cricketing queries, got a couple of them from journalist from western part of India who broke the unwritten rules by asking questions on the Supreme Court observation.

And the Mumbai batsman beautifully answered them. "It's important for us to focus as we have a big job on our hands right now. When we came here, we were determined to win the tournament. We have won two out of two, which is a good sign and tomorrow (Friday) is another crucial game for us. At the moment, our focus is on tomorrow's game which is important for us to win," he said.

The second question too was on similar lines but in a different way, but the answer was same. "No, not at all. As I said before, the focus is on World T20, it's an important tournament for us. We have a big job to do tomorrow and we are focussed on that."

But the real action began after the presser when a scribe asked why Dhoni hasn't come? Baba replied: "Dhoni will from now on be available if India lose any match or else the man of the match will be coming to attend the customary press meets," before a confrontation between the journalists and the media manager began.

When journalists asked an official why the team was not reacting on the SC observation, he said: "If your colleagues can't get official reaction in the India, how can you expect the team to give when it is here for a World Cup."

Not for nothing that Dhoni is called Captain Cool. He was the usual himself with no difference in body language after he was called a liar by the opposition lawyer Harish Salve for defending Gurunath Meiyyapan and calling him an "enthusiast" like his employer N Srinivasan during the hearing on Thursday.

The skipper played football with teammates and did some batting in the nets. He also had long conversations with coach Duncan Fletcher discussing the game before leaving the practice with Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli, keeping the media guessing about his current state of mind.

Meanwhile, India will begin favourites in their third Group 2 tie against Bangladesh here on Friday.


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