None of us thought that MS Dhoni could captain India the way he did: Mohammad Kaif
Both Kaif and Dhoni had together featured in many matches for the Men in Blue.
Former Indian captain MS Dhoni was one of the most successful captains of all times having won all the three ICC trophies be it the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup, or 2013 Champions Trophy. The Ranchi Stalwart had bid adieu to his golden career of 16 years, which spanned from 2004 to 2019, after amassing more than 17,000 international runs and affecting more than 800 dismissals in international cricket.
Meanwhile, the former Indian cricketers including Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, and Mohammad Kaif had different views about MS Dhoni at the beginning of his cricket career as they never felt that Dhoni would be able to captain the Indian team successfully and take them to glory in all the three formats. The veteran batsman Kaif shared his memory of seeing Dhoni bat for the first time in the Duleep Trophy in the early 2000s.
“The first time I noticed Dhoni, I was the captain of the Central Zone in the Duleep Trophy. And he was playing for East Zone, not as a captain, a wicketkeeper. He had also toured for India A,” Kaif said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
Mohammed Kaif reveals his first impression of MS Dhoni
Kaif revealed that his friend from Lucknow had told him to watch Dhoni in the domestic circuit play as he smashes the ball like no other player all over the park. Further, the batsman reckoned that all the players including Zaheer, Harbhajan, and Virender were a part of the Duleep Trophy and had seen a glimpse of Dhoni’s batting and wicketkeeping but at that time they had no idea that MS will take the Men in Blue to such great heights.
“I had a friend in Lucknow who told me ‘Kaif, there is a player. Watch him. He has long hair and I’ve never seen anyone hit sixes as he does. All of us who were playing at that time – I, Zaheer, Harbhajan, Sehwag – none of us thought that he could captain India the way he did, who would lift Indian cricket to such heights,” Kaif added.
Both Kaif and Dhoni had together featured in many matches for the Men in Blue. In fact, Kaif was part of the match against 2004 in Bangladesh when MS had made his debut on the big stage. However, the former Indian captain had a forgettable debut as he had to go back to the pavilion after getting run-out without opening his account.