MS Dhoni after becoming part of the Indian team completely changed the landscape of Indian cricket. The long-haired swash-bucking wicket-keeper-batsman went on to become arguably India’s greatest captain. Former India player and selector Syed Kirmani revealed how Dhoni was spotted for the very first time.
Kirmani stated that this has always been kept as a secret that very few know about. The former selector was apparently watching an East Zone Ranji Trophy match with his co selector Pranab Roy. That is when Roy suggested Kirmani the name of MS Dhoni who played for Jharkhand. Roy who was impressed by Dhoni told Kirmani about him about the then promising wicket-keeper batsman.
Syed Kiramni reveals how he picked MS Dhoni
“I have never disclosed this before but here is how Dhoni was picked. I and Pranab Roy – my co-selector from East Zone were watching a Ranji Trophy match. I’m not sure which match it was since it was a long time ago, but Pranab Roy is proof. He said to me there is this keeper batsman from Jharkhand, who is a very promising youngster and deserves selection”.
“I asked him ‘is he keeping wickets in this match?’ Pranab said ‘no but he is fielding at fine leg.’ That is when I got Dhoni’s stats from the last two years to look into. And Wow! There was terrific consistency in his batting ability. Without even seeing him keep wickets, I suggested that Dhoni be selected for East Zone straightaway. And the rest is history”, Kiramni told Hindustan Times.
That is how Dhoni was first spotted and later selected as a wicketkeeper-batsman for India in 2004. Dhoni was one of the few cricketers initially that made it big without being from big cities. Traditionally Mumbai, Delhi and Karnataka players dominated Indian cricket but it all changed once Dhoni made his debut.
Appointing Dhoni as skipper is the best thing
Syed Kirmani also acknowledged the fact that when MS Dhoni was made skipper it was the best thing that happened in Indian cricket. He also added that wicket-keeping is a specialist job which has taken a back seat in the current era.
“When Dhoni was appointed captain, it was the best thing to have happened to Indian cricket. He proved what the importance of a wicket-keeper batsman is all about. In my time, the committee thought that it would be an added responsibility, which could hamper the performance. I’m glad Dhoni proved them wrong and changed that perception”.
“Wicket-keeping has taken the back seat in this era. A batsman or an all-rounder is considered who can stop the ball behind. No wonder there have been some stunning stumpings and brilliant catches taken by makeshift wicket-keepers”, said Syed Kirmani.