Dhoni predictable and precise
Answering the same questions, albeit sometimes asked differently, can be a pain.
That, in short, is M S Dhoni's predicament.
But if you are the captain of the Indian cricket team, it is something you can anticipate, since seldom is the question not on expected lines; cricket is pretty much a limited sport in that sense.
And this is precisely where Dhoni scores, probably more than he does on the field these days.
He may sound repetitive on most occasions, but it is hardly his fault. At the end of the day how differently can you answer the same set of questions?
Considering the fact that cricket is nothing sort of a religion in India, it is something that is unavoidable as well. In other words, neither can the media stop asking questions nor can the captain avoid answering them.
There are many who opine that Dhoni has become very predictable of late. However, fact is he cannot be completely held responsible for the monotony.
The media has to take part of the blame.
Does the question (why?) crop up in your mind at this juncture?
For the answer, well, continue reading
Image: Captains press conference at the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel ahead of the opening ceremony for the 2011 ICC World Cup
Photographs: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
'Pressure is part and parcel of Indian cricket'
Ahead of the opening ceremony of the 10th World Cup, India's captain came to the media congregation very well-rehearsed. And he flashed his trademark smile the moment he heard the first question. He had anticipated it right!
The question: Do you think it is the most open World Cup till date?
"What is good is the fact that all the 14 teams are looking in good nick at the moment," opined Dhoni.
"And the long breaks in between matches means good recovery for players and the best possible eleven of each team playing in every match," he said, adding, "That makes it a very open tournament."
Heard that one before?
Well, the next question, from a local scribe, then, was even more predictable.
Are you under pressure going into the tournament?
"Pressure is part and parcel of Indian cricket," said Dhoni, adding, "We are used to getting appreciation and criticism in turns.
"The players have accepted it as a reality."
There are a couple of other equally predictable questions, and answers. But, fortunately for Dhoni, there were the captains of the other 13 participating nations present alongside.
The Indian captain had to answer comparatively lesser questions than he had done in the last few weeks. A much-needed relief for him then.
Maybe, the next time he comes in for a press conference he will have something new to say.
And, maybe, by that time the fourth estate will have something different to ask.
Image: Pakistan captain Afridi, Dhoni and South Africa captain Graeme Smith at the press conference
Photographs: Graham Crouch/Getty Images