'Mr Cool' MS Dhoni is not immune to fear and pressure

Updated: May 08, 2020, 07:45 IST | PTI | Chennai

Former skipper MS Dhoni opens up on mental challenges; reveals nervous psyche behind calm demeanour

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni

His ice cool demeanour is the stuff of legends but former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has no qualms conceding that he is not immune to pressure and fear. Dhoni, lending support to MFORE—an initiative offering mind conditioning programs to achieve peak performance in sports—offered his perspective on the issue of mental health. "In India, I feel there is still a big issue of accepting that there is some weakness when it comes to the mental aspects, but we generally term it as mental illness," Dhoni was quoted as saying in a press release issued by MFORE.

"Nobody really says that,.When I go to bat, the first five to 10 deliveries, my heart rate is elevated. I feel the pressure. I feel a bit scared because that's how everybody feels—how to cope with that?" the World Cup-winning captain asked. "This is a small problem but a lot of times we hesitate to say it to a coach and that's why the relationship between a player and coach is very important be it any sport," said Dhoni, who hasn't played any international cricket since India's World Cup semi-final exit last July.

"Mental conditioning coach should not be the one who comes for 15 days because you are only sharing the experience. If the mental conditioning coach is constantly with the player, he can understand what are the areas which are affecting his sport," Dhoni, who led CSK to three IPL titles, said.

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