One of the greats of the game, MS Dhoni is a man that the entire cricketing universe respects. Though Dhoni got his India not a little late, he went on to create a legacy that remains unparalleled event today. While many intriguing tales of the Ranchi-born wicket-keeper batter, a new one unfolded as former pacer S Sreesanth shared anecdotes from an India vs Pakistan match in Kerala. While the fans were chanting Sachin, Sachin, Dhoni knew that it was his time to deliver and cement his place in the team.
“Before the India vs Pakistan match in Kerala, John Wright (India’s head coach) called me to bowl in the nets. Kochi hosted the match. India vs Pakistan, it was housefull. Everyone was chanting ‘India, India, Sachin, Sachin’,” Sreesanth said in a chat on Sportskeeda.
“Dhoni bhai came and spoke with us (support players). I have not shared this story anywhere. When we were standing there, Dhoni bhai said ‘I want to express myself. I am not getting the chance where I can express myself’,” he added.
While Dhoni was eager to prove his credentials, Sreesanth also showed keen interest in representing India in the future too.
“There was one more player with me from Kerala. Dhoni was talking with us. We even jokingly told him, ‘Dhoni bhai, even we will come in the team in 1-2 years’. He said with a smile, ‘Yes, sure. Why not. Just keep working hard’.”
“At the dinner party, we just had a casual interaction. But I told him, ‘Don’t worry. Something tells me (you will play and do well soon).’ I have the habit of motivating the players sitting on the bench. You won’t believe, the next match he played he scored a hundred. In Duleep Trophy finals, he got a chance and he scored a hundred,” Sreesanth revealed.
Dhoni went on to score a hundred for India A and went on a run that made him indespensible to the senior Indian team forever.
“Then he got a chance in India ‘A’, he scored hundred again, and then hundred again. Crazy journey man! So from playing Duleep Trophy against him in 2003/04 to winning two World Cups with him. Unbelievable journey. That’s why it is said you should not hope, you should believe.
“I am writing about this in my autobiography also. During India vs Pakistan match, MS Dhoni told me ‘I don’t know what we have to do. You don’t know what makes you come here, but you know what to do here’,” Sreesanth concluded.
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