The 15-year international career of MS Dhoni saw him progress from an unconventional wicket-keeper batsman to one of Indian cricket’s all-time greats. He is the country’s most successful skipper and a beloved figure in Indian cricket.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and JioCinema expert Syed Saba Karim shared one such example in the commentary box, discussing Dhoni’s rise before being called up to the national squad.
Karim remembers seeing Dhoni for the first time and becoming acquainted with his skill set after becoming a selector for Bihar in the Ranji Trophy.
Karim comments on the start of the career of MS Dhoni
“My story is very interesting. The first time I saw MS Dhoni, it was his second year in the Ranji Trophy. He used to play for Bihar. I saw him batting and keeping, and I still remember while he was batting, he had that brilliance which we even saw later, playing big lofted shots to a spinner or a pace bowler. Even for wicket-keeping, the footwork that one should have, was lacking a bit. We worked with him on this at that time, and he still remembered what he was taught then. When we used to chat, he used to speak about it. It was a turning point in MS’s career where he actually got going. In one-dayers, we started to let him open because his batting was so strong and he used to get quick runs,”
Karim then talked about Dhoni’s debut series for India ‘A,’ where his batting performances persuaded national team selectors to finally give him an opportunity. As they say, the rest is history.
“The second turning point was the tri-series in Kenya between India ‘A’, Pakistan ‘A’, and Kenya. Dhoni got an opportunity to play because Dinesh Karthik was joining the national team. There, MS kept the wickets well and for batting don’t even ask! We played against Pak ‘A’ twice and he batted so well in the series.”
“From there it was a turning point in his career and after that, his name was in the reckoning. I even remember I was in Calcutta at that time, and Sourav (Ganguly) was the captain. I went to meet him and I told him there is this keeper who should come into the Indian team because he was batting so well and was such a safe keeper. Unfortunately, Sourav hadn’t seen MS play just before we toured Pakistan, and he wasn’t selected for that tour. But he was after that,”
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