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Shirin Sadikot in Mumbai

I’d steal gol-gappas: Dhoni

Dhoni, the invincible, speaks about Mahi, the invisible

He flattens the morale of the biggest opponents with his mighty bat. He guides his team over the line with monk-like calmness. He fills hearts with pride, and the mantlepiece with silverware, be it the World Cup or the IPL trophy.

But what’s the enigmatic MS Dhoni like off the field? Where does the inspirational leader himself draw inspiration from? What superpower does he crave? Which movie does he dig? 

We found out what the Chennai Super Kings skipper is like when he’s not scripting wins for his team on the field. Sneak a peek yourself.

1. My life mantra is to live in the present. Try to learn a lot from the past and implement it in the present to make a better future. 

2. My idol in life would be somebody like Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan. Not only have they excelled in their respective fields and made the most of their talent, but they are also great human beings whom people look up to.

3. I love Indian food. When we travel to places where Indian food is not easily available, I shift to Chinese and Thai. At times I also like burgers and pizzas, which are not greatly recommended by the physio.

4. My favourite beverage is Pepsi. I usually have it with a meal, either lunch or dinner. With breakfast I generally prefer fruit juice. 

5. My favourite movie is the original Agneepath. I thought Amitabh Bachchan was brilliant in it and the movie was fantastic throughout. You see a hero that can’t be dominated, no matter what the situation is.

6. I love Hindi film music – songs from the ‘80s and late ‘70s. Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Mohammad Rafi are my favourites. 

7. My favourite gadget is my laptop because I play a lot of games on it. I also love small gadgets that work in different ways.

8. I haven’t come across anything that I cannot live without. But in a broader way, if I get food, I’ll be quite happy. It doesn’t matter what kind of food it is as long as it’s good enough to feed me.

9. My style statement is casual. I’m a jeans and T-shirt person, but I prefer shoes and boots over sandals. 

10. I have quite a few best friends in cricket and it’s very difficult to name one. Suresh [Raina], Robin [Uthappa], RP Singh and Irfan [Pathan] are a few.

11. The toughest bowler I’ve faced depends on the match situation and conditions. On certain tracks playing Muralitharan might be very tough; on others Brett Lee or Shoaib Akhtar would be a handful. 

12. The easiest bowler I’ve faced is Yuvraj Singh in the nets, bowling right-arm leg-spin. I can tell you, it’s really funny.

13. My favourite non-cricketing sportsperson is Rafael Nadal. You can pick up a lot from the way he plays his tennis. He’s someone who doesn’t let the game go through easily. Even in a lost cause, he’ll make the opponent fight for that final point before he can celebrate.

14. My most memorable cricketing moment definitely has to be the 2011 World Cup-win. There were a lot of emotions flowing right through the tournament. We were playing in India and the number of people that wanted us to win created tremendous pressure around us. But the team handled it very well. At no point in the tournament did we take the expectations as a burden.

15. For me the most embarrassing cricketing moment was when I got run out off the very first ball on international debut. 

16. If I weren’t a cricketer and I’d have to choose another sport, I’d have played soccer. If asked to pick an alternate profession, I’d have joined the army.

17. My favourite shot is the paddle sweep but of late I’ve started liking the helicopter shot, which is very peculiarly and nicely named by people.

18. My dream vehicle is the Hummer H1. They make it for the US Army but now they’ve stopped producing it for the general masses. So I bought a Hummer H2, which comes closest to that.

19. If I were granted a superpower, I’d choose a power through which I could help people be content with what they have. By that I don’t mean to obstruct their aims and tell them to stop dreaming. I’d just ensure they go about achieving their dreams in a legal and morally correct way.

20. If I were invisible for a day, I’d love to go all around India, roam on the roads and stations, try to steal some gol-gappas from the roadside stalls and do all crazy stuff. I’d make the most of those 24 hours and wouldn’t sleep a minute.

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