MS Dhoni’s journey as a cricketer was a roller-coaster ride. Coming from a very humble background to playing for India and then captaining India to the World Cup glory, it was all a dream. MS Dhoni didn’t have the life and career of a normal cricketer. He rid a topsy-turvy curve, but his landing was absolutely perfect 15 years down the road. Here are some of the interesting facts about Dhoni’s career:
1) Dhoni represented Bihar and not Jharkhand when he started playing first-class cricket because, at that time, Bihar and Jharkhand were not separated. That’s why when Dhoni first made it to India A team and to the Indian national team, he was called “Bihari” by most of his teammates.
2) Dhoni had missed out on selection in the India U19 team for the U19 World Cup of 2000 as he couldn’t score as many runs as Ajay Ratra in the CK Nayudu trophy which was a sort of a trial tournament for U19 selections. India later won that World Cup under the captaincy of Mohammed Kaif.
3) MS Dhoni’s first-ever stumping in first-class cricket was Parag Das who is none other than the father of the current Rajasthan Royals cricketer Riyan Parag. Dhoni caught Riyan Parag behind the stumps as well in the last IPL.
4) Central Coal Limited was Dhoni’s first corporate team in India’s domestic circuit. CCL initially paid Dhoni a monthly stipend of 2000 INR, but later they added 200 INR to it as an incentive as Dhoni used to win them a lot of games.
5) Dhoni’s first century in first-class cricket came against West Bengal at the Eden Gardens. It was the same season where Dhoni was also picked to play for East Zone in Duleep Trophy tournament, but he missed the tournament because the news of his selection was delivered to him very late.
6) After leaving the job of the Ticket Collector, Dhoni started playing tennis ball cricket tournaments for a club named Durga Sporting. It was there that he perfected his “helicopter shot”.
7) Helicopter shot was taught to Dhoni by one of his friends Santosh who, unfortunately, died due to pancreatitis in 2013.
8) Dhoni was scouted in 2004 by the Talent Resource Development Wing set up by BCCI. One of the scouts named Prakash Poddar, who also captained West Bengal in domestic cricket, had mentioned Dhoni in one of his reports sent to the board.
9) The Indian selectors took note of Dhoni after Poddar’s report, but he had also scored heaps of runs in List A cricket in 2004. Dhoni had scored centuries against Assam and also against Central Zone, playing in the Deodhar Trophy.
10) Dhoni was first named in the India A team for the tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya and was then included in the board president XI for a warm-up game against the South Africa national side.
11) Dhoni was eventually picked in the Indian national cricket team for the tour of Bangladesh in December 2004 and the rest is history.