All was shocked to see MS Dhoni’s shaved head in the morning after the championship win, according to Ranjib Biswal, who was Team India’s boss during the 2011 ODI World Cup.
It seems like just yesterday that MS Dhoni struck Nuwan Kulasekara for a giant six to help India win the 2011 World Cup at Wankhede Stadium. However, it still gives those present at the stadium on the night of the final goosebumps to remember how 45,000-plus fans sang Vande Mataram as India came closer to Sri Lanka’s 275-point mark. Although everybody speaks about how it was the perfect gift for legend Sachin Tendulkar and how the whole country spent the night away, it was the next morning that would linger with then-team manager Ranjib Biswal for the rest of his life.
Biswal told ANI that while the boys partied until about 4:30 a.m., the greatest surprise came the next morning when skipper Dhoni stepped in with a shaved head. It will be remembered as the greatest surprise of the 2011 World Cup trip, according to the former team boss.
“We had no idea what was in store for us the morning after the final. After the victory, we partied in the locker room until late in the night, and went to the team hotel and partied until about 4:30 a.m. We went back to our rooms after that. And when we wake up, what do we see? After returning to his bed, Dhoni shaved his head. It was, without a doubt, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We had no idea “He confessed.
When asked whether Dhoni had gone to his room earlier than the rest of the team, Biswal replied: “Not in the least. He was with us all the time and just left after the holidays were over. After that, he returns to his room and shaves his beard. For you, it’s Dhoni. He holds his feelings tight to his chest and hardly expresses them.”
While the final against Sri Lanka was a magnificent success, the most critical match had to be the high-octane semi-final against Pakistan in Mohali. And Biswal agrees that the situation was tense, particularly with fans and dignitaries from both sides of the border in the stadium to watch the game.
“It was an India-Pakistan match, followed by a World Cup match, and then, the World Cup semi-final. Let’s not even talk about the fact that dignitaries and supporters on both sides of the border were in attendance to watch the game. But, as with MS and then-coach Gary Kirsten, they didn’t let the pressure affect their performance. That, I believe, helped to ease the nerves of the others in the room. For me, it was just about ensuring that the cricketers’ main attention was on the game and that everything else was taken care of “He gave a soft smile.