MS Dhoni takes power nap at Chennai Airport after thumping Australia
What's the story?
Following their 26-run victory against Australia in the opening ODI at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday, Indian team players were spotted relaxing at the Chennai Airport before boarding the flight to Kolkata. While former skipper MS Dhoni chilled out by taking a power nap despite finding himself in a busy environment, the 36-year old's teammates were seen unwinding in the images released at the Indian cricket team's official Facebook page.
The Indian players, as well as their Australian counterparts, boarded a chartered flight from Chennai and landed in Kolkata where the second ODI is scheduled to take place.
"There's no practice scheduled today and everyone will be resting," Indian team's local manager stated at the Kolkata airport following the arrival of the players at 1530 IST.
In case you didn't know
Legendary Indian captain Kapil Dev had earlier suggested that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) divert some of their resources in buying a private airplane for their players. The veteran all-rounder called for such a proposal in order to ensure that the cricketers get adequate rest amidst an increasingly packed schedule.
The heart of the matter
Upon winning the toss on a difficult track in Chennai, Indian skipper Virat Kohli surprisingly chose to bat first under overcast skies. A fiery opening spell from Nathan Coulter-Nile rattled the top-order and reduced the hosts to 87/5. Despite facing a precarious position, Dhoni and all-rounder Hardik Pandya reversed the tables on the Aussies by putting on a game-changing partnership.
While Pandya smashed a 66-ball 83, Dhoni played the situation smartly before unleashing himself on the Australian bowlers during the end overs. The wicket-keeper batsman eventually ended up on 79 runs from 88 deliveries. After a thundershower curtailed the visitors' chase to 21 overs, the Indian bowlers picked up wickets on a regular basis and secured a 26-run triumph to go one-up in the 5-match series.
Parallels from history
During India's recently completed tour of Sri Lanka, Dhoni even found some time to take a power nap on the field after spectators hurled bottles to protest against the home side's inept performance in the third ODI at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
Hailing from a simple background, Dhoni has managed to remain grounded despite scaling unprecedented heights in Indian cricket. The Chennai Airport was one of the many examples of his inimitable cool demeanour. Meanwhile, Indian fans will be hoping that the stalwart puts on another masterclass with the bat when the on-field battle resumes at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.