Former Indian fielding coach R Sridhar made an important contribution in helping former captain MS Dhoni make the Men in Blue one of the best fielding sides in the world.
The legendary Indian skipper didn't tolerate any kind of slacking off on the field and Sridhar had a first-hand experience of this. He narrated an incident involving the same in his book 'COACHING BEYOND: My Days with the Indian Cricket Team.'
He wrote about a game between India and West Indies, where the Men in Blue won, but MS Dhoni was absolutely furious with his teammates. On this, Sridhar said:
"Getting back to my early days with the Indian team... following MS' inputs, we began to get our fielding house in order with the World Cup in mind.
"We were playing West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla in October 2014 - a match we won comfortably but where we were absolutely shoddy on the field. MS was furious at what he perceived to be lack of effort and dipping fitness standards."
Dhoni was also not someone who would express his disappointment openly, but that day this is what he had to say after the game:
"'I feel quite a few things are missing. We have to pull our socks up. We have not played to our potential. This game is a crucial eye-opener for us. We are on the winning side, but we could have lost this.'"
R Sridhar on how MS Dhoni exploded in the dressing room
In his book, Sridhar further stated that there were some stern words said by MS Dhoni after the game in the dressing room. With the 2015 ODI World Cup in Australia on the horizon, Dhoni made it clear that he wanted a top-quality fielding side.
Sridhar recounted the incident, saying:
"In the dressing room, he ripped the team to shreds and gave them an ultimatum, making it clear that if they didn't meet certain standards in fielding and fitness, they would not make the World Cup cut, no matter what name they answer to.
"That showed me the kind of fielding culture he was looking to establish in white-ball cricket."
These high standards maintained by Dhoni were one of the main reasons why the Men in Blue won three ICC trophies during his tenure as captain.
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