MS Dhoni, a name that resonates with every cricket enthusiast in India, has etched a unique place in the history of Indian cricket. Former BCCI selector, Saba Karim, recently revealed a fascinating anecdote about Dhoni’s early days in the Indian team.
Back in 2004, during the India vs. Pakistan series, Saba Karim had proposed Dhoni’s name for selection, but Sourav Ganguly, the captain then, had not seen Dhoni play. It was only later that year when Dhoni made his debut against Bangladesh in an ODI match. Unfortunately, the Indian team headed to Pakistan soon after, and Dhoni missed his chance to be a part of that tour.
In 2005, Dhoni finally got an opportunity to play against Pakistan in India. Karim also reminisced about a significant encounter during Dhoni’s Ranji Trophy days for Bihar.
He recalls approaching Sourav Ganguly, who was captaining Kolkata at the time, to suggest Dhoni’s name as a wicketkeeper-batsman. Dhoni showcased exceptional batting skills and exemplary wicketkeeping, making a strong case for his inclusion in the Indian team.
However, fate had other plans, and Dhoni was not picked for the Pakistan tour that followed. Despite the setback, Dhoni’s resolve and talent shone through as he continued to impress with his performances in the domestic circuit.
Dhoni’s career witnessed a turning point during the triangular series involving India ‘A,’ Pakistan ‘A,’ and Kenya. It was during this series that he showcased his mettle as a dependable and safe wicketkeeper. This performance earned him recognition and set the stage for greater opportunities.
In 2004, Dhoni faced Pakistan in a memorable series that further solidified his position in the team. His exceptional skills with the gloves and his power-hitting abilities made him a vital asset for the Indian side.
Saba Karim fondly remembers witnessing Dhoni’s growth as a player during his Ranji Trophy days and the invaluable lessons he imparted in wicketkeeping. Those learnings stayed with Dhoni throughout his career.