I-was in 11th, he was in 11th. I was in the stands & he was at the batting crease. Match was KV Hinoo vs DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir. Final of some local school championship. Venue was Mecon Ground. Ranchi..
Friend sitting next to me, recalled the double century 'that boy at the crease' had struck against our school team in an earlier group match. "He's a butcher with bat. Once he swings, there's no catching the ball. He doesn't like hitting fours!" continued my friend as our wicket-keeper - Sanjay Rajwar went up the stumps. Our bowler was medium pace, but Rajwar stumped Dhoni off the first ball I saw him face.
Since that day, I watched Mahendra Singh Dhoni come to our AG Colony ground & bowl with tennis balls. Having a ground facing quater/window allowed me this scene every second day, in the evenings at around 5pm, but Dhoni rarely swung the bat or the kept the wickets. Dhoni, in those days, had same elephant-like-careless walk, & stressed on riding the red CBZ one rich friend of his used to come with.
Occasionally when he did bat, bat never came forward. With lose backlift, Dhoni appeared an unconventional hitter trying to scoop the ball in circular manner. Even today, he's the same & thus struggles to hit quick bowlers bowling yorker length to him.
I would love to suggest Dhoni to try those flicks through fine leg by walking across off stump, a shot Misbah-ul-Haq played off the last ball of twenty20 world cup. This will force bowlers to bowl away from stumps & then Dhoni can swing on the off side.
But who am I? A simple cricket blogger giving tips to someone who recently launched his official website for billion fans he owns. Go try original M.S.Dhoni on the web. A true Dhoni should find interesting facts & wallpapers of the great man.
Dhoni.org : the official web site of Indian cricketer/captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.