Mumbai: Peeved at the repeated queries on his retirement, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni resorted to an unusual way of dealing with the same question, as he conveyed his desire to continue to play, though the brunt of his sarcasm-laden jibe fell not on an Indian scribe but on a Australian journalist.
After India were knocked out of the World T20 cricket tournament by the West Indies in the semifinal on Thursday night, Dhoni was asked at the post-match press conference whether he would continue playing the game in the shorter format. An apparently peeved Dhoni, who has retired from Test cricket, dealt the question in his unique style in a funny as well as sarcastic manner. He had lost his cool a few days back during the same World T20 after India narrowly beat Bangladesh in a Super 10 match.
You’ve achieved almost everything in the game, are you keen to continue on playing, Cricket Australia reporter Sam Ferris asked Dhoni. To the surprise of many present there and in a scene rarely seen in such post-match conferences, Dhoni invited the Australian scribe to sit on the chair next to him on the dais. “Come here, let us have some fun. Please come seriously,” Dhoni told the Australian journalist.
The bemused reporter came up to the dais amidst a peel of laughter in the conference room and Dhoni promptly put his hands on the shoulder of the scribe and asked him questions in a role reversal. “You want me to retire, seriously?” Dhoni asked the Australian scribe. “I am asking that to you,” the reporter said.
Pat came the reply from Dhoni: I was hoping it was Indian media guy asking me this, because I can’t really say if you have a brother or son who can play for India, as a wicketkeeper. Dhoni shot his next question at the scribe: “Do you think I am unfit, by seeing me running (in the field)?”
Even as the rattled reporter responded with a quick no and added that Dhoni was in fact very fast, the Indian captain further asked, “Do you think I can survive playing until the 2019 World?” The hapless reporter said sheepishly Yes, sure. “Then you have answered the question,” said Dhoni laughing as he patted the journalist and sent him back to his seat.
Once the Australian reporter got off from the dais, Dhoni continued to say that he wished the question was asked by an Indian journalist. “I wish it was an Indian media guy who has asked the question because then I would have asked if he has a son who is old enough to play and who can play as wicketkeeper. He would have said ‘no’, then may be I would have said ‘ok’ maybe a brother who can play and who is a wicketkeeper, so. You fired the wrong ammunition at the wrong time,” said Dhoni.