How MS Dhoni’s unique punishment ensured Indian players do not turn up late for practice, team meetings

Former India mental conditional coach Paddy Upton, in his recent book Barefoot, has made few interesting revelations about the Indian dressing room. After speaking about Gautam Gambhir and the whole concept of mental toughness, Upton has now spoken about MS Dhoni, who in his own unique way instilled a sense of punctuality in the Indian players.

“When I joined the team Anil Kumble was the captain of the Test team and MS Dhoni was the captain of the ODI team. We had a very self-governing process. So we said to the team ‘is it important to be on time for the practice and team meetings?’ Everyone said yes it is. So we asked them if anyone is not on time is there anything one should give up? We discussed it amongst ourselves and the players, and eventually, it was left to the captain to decide,” said Upton.

Anil Kumble suggested a fine of Rs 10,000 for latecomers, and Dhoni, in his own quirky way, added a different twist to the punishment. The former captain said that if a player was late, along with him, the rest of the side would also have to pay Rs 10,000.

“In the test team, Anil Kumble said that the consequence would be a ten thousand rupees (10,000) fine which the person who was late would have to pay. And then we had the same conversation with the one day team and there also MS (Dhoni) said that ‘yes there should be a consequence. So if somebody is late, everybody will pay a ten thousand rupees fine!’ Nobody was ever late from the one day team again,” the South African recalled.

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