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How MS Dhoni’s childhood friend Santosh Lal taught him Helicopter shot?

How MS Dhoni’s childhood friend Santosh Lal taught him Helicopter shot

MS Dhoni and Santosh Pal. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

The way MS Dhoni debuted in international cricket had a certain rustic appeal. The young man with the long locks used an unusual strategy while including a hint of raw strength in his play. The world became aware of his extraordinary skill when he struck 148 against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam and followed it up with a brilliant 183 not out against Sri Lanka.

Dhoni’s trademark shot that has become tremendously famous is the ‘Helicopter shot‘. For pure force, agility, and boldness, this shot is still among the most exciting additions to the contemporary textbook. Not many people can waft the bat with that renowned follow-through after making contact with the ball, making it a select club.

Santosh Lal: The man behind MS Dhoni’s iconic Helicopter shot

Santosh Lal, a friend and former Jharkhand player, is rumoured to have taught Dhoni the shot. When they were younger, the Indian captain Lal gave it a try and eventually became an expert. The rest is history once Dhoni took it to the next level. Lal sadly passed away at the early age of 29.

Around 2011, when Dhoni’s shot gained popularity, rumours circulated that Sachin Tendulkar had already attempted it. Here’s a video of him making a similar move in Chester-le-Street, Durham, during a One-Day International (ODI) against England.

Tendulkar might have made a shot similar to this in 2002, but Dhoni was the one who refined it and established it as a standard. Possibly the first verified sighting of that shot occurred in a 2006 ODI against England in Goa. Dhoni struck it hard into the stands.

The great English all-rounder, Ian Botham, once said on air, “Just watch the back-lift and the follow-through at the moment of impact! Not quite sure what he did there, but it was very, very effective  almost swung himself off his feet.”

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