Exactly eight months after his cricketing epitaph was written by all and sundry following a series loss to Bangladesh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni took a jibe at his detractors saying that “Freedom of Expression” in India is used liberally by people when it comes to having an opinion on cricket.
“I believe, in India, everyone has an opinion on issues and especially on cricket. There is freedom of expression and everyone is entitled to an opinion. Play like this, play like that, do like this, do like that. The problem is cricket looks a bit easier on television than when we play it at the ground,” Dhoni said after India were crowned Asia Cup champions for the sixth time following an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh last night.
“Well there will be a lot of criticism. If anyone asks me that what would you have liked to do, I would have said: ‘Playing cricket for India will be my first choice. I will never play for any other country’.”
But he also said that an individual should take a middle path when he is cornered, something which enables him to maintain a fine balance. “Best for an individual is to take the middle part. Don’t get too bogged down by criticism and also don’t take yourself too seriously when you are praised. The media also balances it. If they take you up they will also bring you down. If you are up on a parachute, you can delay your coming down, but eventually you will come down. And then they will again throw you up.”
The Bangladeshi crowd and the media has been very hostile to the Indian cricket team in the recent past after their World Cup quarter-final loss. “It would be putting a lot at stake, when you win nothing really. It’s like when you lose to Bangladesh, people would say like ‘You lost to Bangladesh’ and if you win they would say ‘It’s okay, you are supposed to win’. It’s just that there is a lot at stake but when you win you don’t take anything home,” Dhoni in his own inimitable manner put across a point in-front of the Bangladeshi media.