‘Dada, this guy has got the gift of hitting the ball hard’ – Sachin Tendulkar on identifying MS Dhoni’s potential

‘Dada, this guy has got the gift of hitting the ball hard’ – Sachin Tendulkar on identifying MS Dhoni’s potential

Dhoni got scores of 0, 12 and 7* in Bangladesh, but he was in for something very special moving deep into his career.

Sachin Tendulkar MS Dhoni ODI
Sachin Tendulkar MS Dhoni ODI. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Sachin Tendulkar, the former Indian cricketer, went down the memory lane to the time when a young and swashbuckling MS Dhoni was taking baby steps among the big boys of the sport. Dhoni got off the worst possible start as he perished for a golden duck against Bangladesh in Chattogram.

He was stranded mid-pitch with Mohammad Kaif even as Khaled Mashud Pilot took the bails off at the striker’s end. In the three games he played in, MSD managed scores of 0, 12 and an unbeaten seven. But in the short stints, Sachin, who was also a part of the series, managed to spot his talent.

Thereafter, the Master Blaster didn’t take much time in conveying Sourav Ganguly his thoughts about Dhoni’s potential at the highest level. Sachin was impressed by Dhoni’s ability to pack a punch.

My first observation was: he has a very strong bat swing: Sachin Tendulkar

“I first saw him on the tour of Bangladesh. Sourav (Ganguly) and I had heard that he could hit the ball well. But could he do that in international cricket? That was our question’,” Sachin was quoted as saying in an interview with Hindustan Times.

“’On that tour, he didn’t score too many runs, but in the couple of shots he hit, including one boundary he hit to long-off, Dada and I thought that we have spotted something special. I told him, “Dada, this guy has got the gift of hitting the ball hard’,” Sachin stated.

‘My first observation was: he has a very strong bat swing and during the impact the transfer of weight is really good; he will be able to generate great power,” Sachin added.

In the first four matches of his career, Dhoni couldn’t get a big score. However, the Men in Blue kept persisting with him and it paid off as in Vizag, he smashed 148 against Pakistan to show the world what he is capable of doing when in full flow.

From there on inwards, Dhoni didn’t look back. In 2007, he got the first taste of captaincy and after winning the inaugural T20 World Cup, Dhoni became near-unstoppable. Sachin also won the 50-overs World Cup in 2011 with Dhoni at the helm.