"Would've been 48,000 MS Dhoni No.7 shirts..." - Justin Langer drops 'unbelievable' remark on hero worship in India

Published - 24 May 2024, 04:16 PM

Justin Langer, MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni, Justin Langer (Credits: X)

Lucknow Super Giants head coach Justin Langer has claimed that the Hero worship tendency of Indian fans towards MS Dhoni is just unbelievable. 

Justin Langer was in India until last week for his first-ever coaching stint in the Indian Premier League circuit. He had replaced head coach Andy Flower in the LSG team which had qualified for the playoffs in their first two seasons in IPL 2022 and 2023. The team also had former IPL winning captain Gautam Gambhir with them as the Mentor of the team. 

LSG's season as it went 

But everything changed for the LSG in the IPL 2024 season. Justin Langer in his debut campaign, started off nicely, winning several matches on the trot before his side stumbled upon a few roadblocks and lost back-to-back matches. Their season eventually got to a point when franchise owner Sanjiv Goenka had to come down himself and confront the players about the team's performances. 

Goenka caught a lot of heat on social media due to his confrontation against LSG captain KL Rahul and a few games later, Lucknow were knocked out of IPL 2024. Lucknow finished the season for the first time in the bottom half at the number 7 position with 7 wins and 7 losses each. 

Justin Langer might not have liked falling out of the race to play-offs, but one thing Langer couldn't believe his eyes was the madness among Indian fans about MS Dhoni. 

What did Justin Langer say about MS Dhoni's fandom in India? 

While speaking in a podcast hosted by BBC Sport, Justin Langer explained what it was like for him to experience and see the crazy fandom of MS Dhoni. The former CSK captain, who possibly played his final season in the Indian Premier League, is a major reason why people turned up in numbers to catch Chennai's matches, be it home or away.   

The case was similar during Lucknow's home game as well. Justin Langer observed that during their home tie against CSK at the Ekana stadium, he saw 48,000 out of the 50,000 fans in the stadium wearing a yellow jersey. The fans did not just don the Chennai jersey but they actually wore the number 7 MS Dhoni kit. 

Then during LSG's return fixture against Chennai in Chepauk, Justin Langer saw 98% of the crowd wearing the Yellow jersey. It was something that Langer could not believe, calling it extraordinary and admitting that the hero worship in India is just Unbelievable. 

"It’s extraordinary. I heard about it first; then we played them twice. They came to Lucknow, and our capacity crowd 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," Langer said via BBC Sport. 

Langer then admitted that he hadn't seen this type of madness among Indian fans when Sachin Tendulkar used to be playing. "And look, I felt it when we played in India before as a player, particularly with Sachin Tendulkar. Then, when I was coaching with, Virat Kohli, and MS Dhoni, But when you get over there, it’s unbelievable," Langer concluded.