"He Would Have Pastry...": Ex-India Star Reveals Rare Story About MS Dhoni
The former India cricketer recalled stories from his time with MS Dhoni during India As tour of Zimbabwe & Kenya in 2004.
The legend of ‘MS Dhoni the cricketer' has mesmerised people world over, but recently, former India cricketerAakash Chopra fondly narrated few incidents about ‘MS Dhoni the roommate' from their time staying together on India A's tour of Zimbabwe & Kenya in 2004. Chopra shared some never told before anecdotes of how the future World Cup-winning captain went out of his way to accommodate him. “As roommates, you need balance. So, I asked him, ‘What time do you want to sleep?' He said, ‘Whenever you want switch the lights off.' So, for the whole tour, he slept at 9:30 PM. I don't know when he usually slept, but with me in the room, he'd sleep at 9:30 PM because I wanted to sleep early,” recalled Chopra on JioCinema.
Chopra then recalled how shy Dhoni was even when it came to ordering his meals. “If I asked him about ordering food, he never picked up the phone and ordered. Poor him, he ate vegetarian food even though he wasn't one, just because I was vegetarian. He was so shy… He would go down and have pastry to fill his stomach because with me, he was just getting daal-roti.”
Chopra also discussed Dhoni's large-heartedness and how he never looked at teammates as rivals. “He used to bowl to Dinesh Karthik in the nets. I used to ask him, ‘why are you doing this? He is your competition.' He used to say, ‘No, he isn't my competition. If you want to bat, you may do so I just wanna bowl'.”
Speaking of the moment when he recognised the genius of Dhoni with the bat, Chopra said, “Iftikhar Anjum was a Pakistani bowler and used to bowl at 140 kmph. He (Dhoni) swept him, and since the fine-leg was inside, he got a boundary. The next ball, they put the 3rd man inside and fine-leg back. That was the first time I saw someone hitting a fast bowler for a reverse-sweep boundary. Because the third man was inside, he reverse-swept it for a four. I was like, ‘who is this player?' Later on, I got my answer. No other wicketkeeper played for the next 10 years for India.”