Never thought I'll play for India: Dhoni

Chennai: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has revealed that he never thought he would don India's national colours.

“I never thought I will play for India,” Dhoni said at a panel discussion in Chennai according to a report filed by PTI.

When asked about his early years in Ranchi, Dhoni said that while he did not attach too much importance to his small-town upbringing, they had a fair bit of senior players to look up to along with a decent league cricket.

“Comparatively, Ranchi has (more) senior players. Of course, it’s tough when you come from a small town. But that makes you tougher with the challenges it poses,” he said at the discussion.

Asked how he managed to find time between the game and his endorsement commitments, he said the game was the central part to all the activity.

“It is very easy. You follow cricket. If it is not there, nothing else is there. Shoots (for advertisements) help take off the time from cricket as you roam about freely, interacting with important people,” he said.

Stating that he doesn't hit the gym hard, Dhoni added that he eats “whatever he wants”.

‘I don’t compromise on food,” he added.

Opener Virendar Sehwag, one of the panelists along with Anil Kumble and former coach John Wright, recalled his long journey in his early days to practice, adding that Najafgarh, his native place used to be known for its gangsters.

Struggling to come back to the one-day team, Sehwag stressed on the importance of “switching on and off” during failures and said that he coped by relaxing at home with family and listening to music.

“My batting is not technically correct, but I am mentally strong,” he added.