India Cements chairman N Srinivasan has stated that MS Dhoni always bears a clear mindset and his great clarity of thought is infectious. The former BCCI President has also added that Dhoni never has any prejudices about any player and his selection process always has a cricketing logic.
While MS Dhoni’s privacy and a difficult-to-access demeanour has been a story of unpredictability, if there's one person who can lay claim to understanding Dhoni at a personal level, it has to be N Srinivasan, the de-facto owner of Chennai Super Kings. Over the years of working with the former Indian skipper, Srinivasan managed to hit a perfect relationship with Dhoni and it is that mutual respect that the duo has for each other that made Dhoni an integral part of every single decision CSK have to take in the process. The former BCCI and ICC president shed light on leadership qualities of MS Dhoni, saying once the veteran decides something, his mind can’t be polluted under any circumstances.
"I first met him briefly before the Indian team left for the 2007 World Cup. Then next I met him straight when he came to CSK. I was at that time in the BCCI. Obviously, after he became captain, I was the treasurer and then secretary - so there were a lot of functions we met. What struck me then, strikes me even today: He is a very calm person, it is very difficult to find a person who has such equanimity about him. His thinking has always been very logical,” Srinivasan told Cricbuzz.
“We built a working relationship that was [built around] - "Don't interfere". My job as secretary was to preside over meetings. Once the team is selected, then that's it, I'm out. We didn't second guess him or look over his shoulder. So he had that complete freedom as India captain. And he was always clear, who he wanted, who he didn't want, he had an explanation. Even in CSK, he is very clear about what he wants. His mind cannot be polluted.
“All these years I've known him, I've never heard him talk or do something unfair to anyone. Of course, he may choose a player, he may drop a player, but he would have cricketing logic. He never had prejudices. All this was very rare for a person in his position."
While the other teams had been assigned an icon player in the first season of the IPL, where the player would be getting 15% more than the highest bid player of the league, Chennai had no such player at their disposal. However, after India’s World Cup win in 2007, Srinivasan was quick to identify the future cult of MS Dhoni and asked VB Chandrasekar, who was the chief selector for CSK back then, to bid for Dhoni at any cost.
“He had won the T20 World Cup. He was the winning captain. I mean... he was very obviously the star on the rise, so at any cost, I wanted him [in Chennai Super Kings]. The late VB Chandrasekar was very much part of the team then. In fact, he was holding the paddle in the first auction, if I'm not mistaken. It's almost one year now [since VB passed away], I had told him, at any cost we have to get MS Dhoni and at any cost, we've to get Muralitharan. Actually, it was my father's annual death ceremony that day. I had to organize it in Mumbai itself. By the time, I'd finished, he'd got both Dhoni and Muralitharan.”