National chief selector, MSK Prasad has revealed one of the incidents related MS Dhoni which proves the dedication of the latter towards the game.
During a recent event MSK Prasad revealed that despite suffering from a severe back injury just before a day of the match against Pakistan at the Asia Cup, Dhoni went on to take the field against the arch-rivals the next day.
Recalling the incident, Prasad said, “While training at the gym late in the night, Dhoni picked up weights and suddenly there was a catch in his back and fell with the weight. Thankfully, the weight did not fall on him. He could not walk, he was literally crawling. He pressed the alarm bell, and the medical staff immediately came and attended him. He was taken on a stretcher.”
He further elaborated, “As I reached Dhaka, the journalists questioned about Dhoni and I had no answers. The game against Pakistan was crucial, that too, it was on a seaming track. So, I went to Dhoni’s room to know what the issue was. He said, ‘don’t worry MSK bhai.’ I even asked him what should I tell the scribes, and the answer again was ‘don’t worry MSK bhai.’ I asked him whether we should call for a replacement, and he again told me not to worry.”
However, Prasad was well aware of the importance of an Indo-Pak game and hence his worry can be justified. He said, “Next morning I went to his room and he told me not to worry. But I felt things were not right. (As a selector) I couldn’t take Dhoni’s words for granted, so I called up the then chief selector Sandeep Patil and told him the situation. Immediately, Parthiv Patel was sent in as a replacement. By evening, Parthiv had joined the team. I went to his room in the evening and he was just trying to get up from his bed. I asked him if things are alright. As per the Asia Cup rules, we had to submit the team list 24 hours before a game, so I had to check on him. He clearly said that he would play.”
Prasad was restless and was again Prasad went back to Dhoni, describing the same, he said, “Again at 11 pm, when I went to his room, he was not there. Fortunately, I went to the top floor and I saw Dhoni was trying hard to walk towards the swimming pool. He was literally crawling. Dhoni said he was trying to walk. I was thinking how could he even think of playing when he could barely walk. Dhoni looked at me and said, ‘don’t worry, you have anyway got Parthiv without telling me. So, you are safe.”
On the match day, Dhoni was padded up and ready to take on the arch-rivals. Prasad revealed, “Before the team was announced in the afternoon, Dhoni was all dressed up for the game. He called me to his room and asked me why was I worrying so much? Then he said, even if my one leg is not there, I will still play against Pakistan.”
Later on, Dhoni successfully led India to a memorable win over arch-rivals Pakistan. Indian chief selector concluded, “This is what Dhoni is made of.”