What is between MS Dhoni and journalists these days? Close on the heels of the captain taking a scribe to the cleaners for a question on the Bangladesh match that he didn't fancy, on Thursday he grilled an Australian journalist for daring to ask the "R" question.
Thursday was one of the bad days for Indian cricket, worse if you are the captain whose team has just lot a World T20 semi-final in front of a home crowd despite being in a winning position.
As expected, the media was out for blood (and juicy quotes) when Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked into the post-match media conference. The question on everyone's mind was the R-word — will 34-year-old, double-World-title-winning Indian captain retire after this World Twenty20? After all, we have all been thinking it, him included, and didn't he just lose on Indian soil.
But Dhoni had more immediate plans, and on the receiving end was Australian journalist Samuel Ferris who asked the question.
"MS, you have achieved almost everything. Do you look to continue playing after this tournament?"
In characteristic style, Dhoni decided to 'have some fun' and called Ferris up on the dais to sit next to him.
The tables were turned, the interviewer was on the hot seat now and MSD did the grilling now.
Here's the exact transcript of what transpired next.
Dhoni: Come here, let's have some fun. Please come here. Come, come, come...seriously! Yeah, come!
Do you want me to retire?
Ferris: No. That's what I asked you.
Dhoni: I was hoping it was an Indian media guy, because I can't really say if you have a brother or a son who can play for India.
Do you think I am unfit?
Dhoni: You have seen me running?
Ferris: Very fast.
Dhoni: Do you think I can survive till the 2019 World Cup?
Ferris: Yes, sure.
Dhoni: Then you have answered the question. Thank you, sir! I wish it was an Indian media guy, because then I would have asked if he has a son who is old enough and a wicketkeeper to play. He would have said 'No'. Then I would have said maybe a brother who can play, who is a wicketkeeper. You fired the wrong ammunition at the wrong time.
Okay then, shots fired!
Ferris took it gamely and even wrote about his 'sit-down chat with India skipper MS Dhoni'
"Shortly after my phone is going nuts with Twitter notifications and I’m told I’m now ‘trending’. No one has ever called me trendy. Ever," he writes on cricket.com.au.
Watch the full video here:
This is not the first time that Dhoni has had an 'unusual' press conference during this World T20. Earlier, after the hard-fought one-run win over Bangladesh, Dhoni had thundered at a journalist for not being happy with India's win.
Dhoni was asked how satisfied was he with the result, keeping in mind that India needed to win it big to improve their net run rate for brightening the semi-final prospects.
Rubbed the wrong way, Dhoni said, "I know you aren't happy that India won today."
As the reporter tried to clarify, Dhoni cut him short and added firmly, "Listen to me. Hearing you, your tone and your question, it's clear that you aren't happy that India has won. And when talking about a cricket match, there's no script.It's not about the script."
Giving him a piece of his mind, Dhoni further said, "You have to analyse that after losing the toss, what was the reason that we couldn't make many runs on that wicket. If you aren't analysing these things sitting outside, then you shouldn't ask this question."