The Indian Premier League (IPL) every year bring the best of cricket talents around the world in one place. This is one tournament which top names around the world do not want to miss. The high salary as well as the exposure make IPL a lucrative tournament. Along with top players, the coaches list in the IPL is also a high-profile one. Justin Langer is part of that list. He was the coach of the Lucknow Super Giants. Being part of the high-profile franchise, owned by Sanjiv Goenka, Langer traversed the country and soaked in the cricket atmosphere. 

He was quite taken aback by the hero worship of MS Dhoni across the country.  

“It’s extraordinary. I heard about it first; then we played them [CSK] twice. They came to Lucknow, and our capacity crowd [in Ekana Stadium] is about 50,000, and honestly, there would have been 48,000 MS Dhoni number seven shirts. I couldn’t believe it, and then we went to CSK, and there wasn’t 98%; there was 100%. And it’s unbelievable. The hero worship in India is unbelievable,” said Langer while speaking on the weekly cricket podcast from BBC Sport.

“And look, I felt it when we played in India before as a player, particularly with Sachin Tendulkar. Then, when I was coaching with [Australia], Virat Kohli, and MS Dhoni, But when you get over there, it’s unbelievable.

He went on to say that the hero worship has its flip-side as well. 

“I saw the flip side of it as well actually, because Rohit Sharma is a huge hero in India as their captain. And what happened with Mumbai Indians this year? Hardik Pandya took over as the captain from Rohit Sharma, the much loved Rohit Sharma and it was really sad to watch. He got booed every game, that is the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team,” Langer said. 

“I learned this from Morne Morkel and Jonty Rhodes. They have been before. They told me that rather than getting upset just go with the flow. I sort of tried to explain, imagine in the EPL, in England and every single person turned up to every game in a David Beckham shirt. Yeah, it doesn’t happen, does it? It’s not even in our psychic. Like in every other country, it doesn’t make sense.”

Langer then went on to praise MS Dhoni. “But I was also taken by MS’ humility. When he walks onto the ground, he is co calm. I think it’s bit of a MS Dhoni that is happening around the world in terms of captaincy,” he said.

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