The whole cricketing community appreciates MS Dhoni, one of the greats of the game. Even though Dhoni received his India a bit late, he went on to build a career that is still unmatched in modern history. As former bowler S Sreesanth told recollections from an India vs. Pakistan game in Kerala, a fresh story about the wicketkeeper batter from Ranchi emerged among the many fascinating ones already known. Dhoni felt it was his moment to shine and solidify his spot in the squad as the crowd chanted “Sachin, Sachin.”
“John Wright, the head coach of India, summoned me to bowl in the practice nets prior to the India vs. Pakistan game in Kerala. The game was held at Kochi. There was a packed house for India vs. Pakistan. Sreesanth reported this during a conversation on Sportskeeda: “Everyone was shouting ‘India, India, Sachin, Sachin’.
“Dhoni bhai visited us (support players) and chatted with us. I haven’t mentioned this incident elsewhere. I want to explain myself, Dhoni bhai added as we were still standing there. I don’t have the opportunity to express myself, he continued.
While Dhoni was anxious to establish his credentials, Sreesanth too demonstrated a strong desire to play for India in the future.
“I was joined by another Keralan player. We were conversing with Dhoni. We even made a joke about joining the squad in a year or two, Dhoni bhai. Yes, definitely, he said with a smile. Exactly why not. Just keep pushing yourself.”
“At the dinner gathering, we only engaged in light conversation. Don’t worry, I reassured him. I have a feeling you’ll play well and quickly succeed. I have a tendency of encouraging the players who are warming up. You won’t believe it, but he scored 100 points in the following game. He had an opportunity to play in the Duleep Trophy finals, and he took it, scoring a hundred,” said Sreesanth.
Dhoni continued to score for India A and went on a run that rendered him permanently indispensable to the senior Indian side.
“When he finally had an opportunity in India ‘A,’ he scored another hundred and then another hundred. Man, what an adventure! Thus, from competing against him in the Duleep Trophy in 2003–04 to sharing two World Cup victories with him. Amazing journey. Because of this, it is claimed that you should believe rather than hope.
“I’m also addressing this in my memoirs. MS Dhoni said to me during the India vs. Pakistan game, “I don’t know what we have to do. You may not know why you are here, but you are aware of what to do,’ Sreesanth said.