January 26, 2009

Indian cricket

Dhoni masters the tongues

ESPNcricinfo staff
Anil Kumble, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh during a net session, Delhi, October 28, 2008
 © Getty Images


Mahendra Singh Dhoni is surely not of the ilk to be flustered easily, nor the kind to shy away from a challenge, and the India captain seems to have found an ingenious way to handle a few language issues.

"In countries like Australia or England, people speak English in such an accent that it is very hard to understand. So, at parties when locals come to us and start talking, even if we are not getting anything, we say yeah,” Dhoni joked during a show on NDTV. "Or if I have a drink in hand, I excuse myself by saying, 'I'll just get a drink' but never show up in front of that person again.”

The expectations were also high when he was signed for US$1.5 million by the Chennai Super Kings. "I played for Chennai but didn't know any Tamil [what most people would speak in Chennai]. But people there thought that since I was part of the team, I had learnt it. So I just picked up a few words and for the one-and-a-half months I played there, I relied on those to break the language barrier.”

Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo

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