In a team session which started with the players bonding over a set of musical instruments, MS Dhoni, the current Indian limited overs captain, gave an inspirational speech to the members of the Indian Test team departing for the tour of the West Indies. Giving a small speech that succeeded the musical session, he spoke about enjoying the game and learning from failures.
He started off on a light note, confessing that the team agreed that this was the first time they were laying their hands on such musical instruments. “If we can have fun with this, we can have fun in cricket,” he said. Dhoni then talked about how he believed that Indian cricket will move forward in the next few years due to a large pool of players who can fit well in the team.
“Most of us started playing cricket when we were five. I think this is the period when Indian cricket will move forward. Last two years, three years, we were talking of youngsters getting into Test cricket. Now, we have a set of batsmen who are into the Test arena. We have a pool of bowlers. We are not talking about two, three or four batsmen but a lot of batsmen. And, we are talking about a lot of bowlers. And, this is the phase which is going to be very interesting,” he said.
The World Cup winning captain, who turns 35 in a few days, then stressed on how success and failure were part of the game. “Stay together, all of you won’t have a very good series. Some of you will fail. But, with 17 Test matches, all of you will be successful. So, it is important to enjoy the period which is tough. But, till you stick together, till you enjoy, I don’t think there is anything that will stop you,” he said.
With the young players standing around him and listening intently, he urged them to make it a point to enjoy the game. The stress of playing for the country might seem too much, but Dhoni suggested the players to not always think of the game.
“Make sure that you have a lot of fun. That is something that we in Indian cricket don’t often do. Cricket is too much for us. For a lot of us, if you take cricket out of our personal lives, there aren’t many things left. So, we actually give it a lot of importance. But, it is important to have fun. And these 45 minutes that we spent here, it just suggests that we can have fun anywhere in the world. We just need the company of us,” Dhoni said.
Skipper of the ODI and T20 teams, Dhoni retired from the longest format in December 2014, handing the captaincy reins to Virat Kohli.