In an incident that dates back to 2008 when India was part of the Commonwealth series against Australia, Dhoni responded to the sledging of an Australian cricketer in his unique way.
In a recent book on the veteran written by Indian Express sports journalist Bharat Sundaresan, the name of the cricketer has not been disclosed. But it seems like it is alluding to Andrew Symonds.
The cricketer was fond of sledging the opposition players. He got flak for it time and again but still he did not mend his ways. The Aussie was going about his business in a very aggressive manner.
He had a dig at several Indian cricketers and got to their nerves by remarks which were potent enough to unsettle them. However, when the Indian players responded, he always demanded them to show some respect.
When Dhoni came to know of it, he devised a plan to crack the code in his unique manner. He guided all the players to make a mock guard of honour when the Aussie entered the field saying, ‘respect, respect, respect’.
‘It was Mahi’s way of saying, “I want to thank you. Yeh le lo respect. (You want respect on demand. Here it is.),” one of his teammates is quote in the book.
After that day, the Aussie cricketer really mended his ways and became quite lukewarm as compared who his erstwhile personality. This is how Dhoni was able to win over a battle within a battle without any fake display of bravado.
However, as it turned out, that was the only game that India won. The team was not able to beat the Aussies in the following games. Despite that, a precedent was set and India hugely benefited from it in the days to come.