Ishant Sharma recalled former India captain MS Dhoni’s words before the mercurial skipper announced his retirement from Test cricket midway during the four-match Test series against Australia in Australia.
Dhoni had called time on his Test career in 2014-15 tour of Australia after the Melbourne Test match. He played 90 Tests for India having made his Test debut in 2005 against Sri Lanka in Chennai. Ishant Sharma also revealed that he played in that Test match despite a severe knee injury, but also said that he was unaware that Dhoni would announce his retirement from Tests after the Test match.
I Felt Very Bad On MS Dhoni’s Retirement- Ishant Sharma
In a video interaction with Ravichandran Ashwin on the eve of his 100th Test, Ishant Sharma recalled that he didn’t know that MS Dhoni was playing his final Test match for India at MCG in 2014. In fact, he said that no one knew that Dhoni would retire from Tests after the end of that match.
“I felt very bad (on MS Dhoni’s retirement). I had taken many injections for that Melbourne Test match because I was experiencing severe pain in my knee. I did not know that Mahi bhai (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) was going to retire. In fact, nobody knew that he was going to retire. So I was taking an injection every session,” he said.
“At tea on the fourth day, I told Mahi bhai I cannot take injections any more. So he told me, that’s okay. You don’t need to bowl now. Then something happened, and he told me, ‘lambu tune mujhe Test match mein chod diya’ (you left me during the Test). I did not understand. Then he elaborated, ‘you left me midway in my last Test match’,” he added.
Ishant Sharma told Dhoni that he would have continued to play despite the pain if he had known Dhoni would have retired from the format.
“I was stunned. I told him if I knew I would definitely have continued to play. So that was a really touching story. I didn’t know till the last day that he was retiring,” Ishant recalled.
MS Dhoni Said It Was Not Important For Him To Play 100 Tests, But Felt That Wriddhiman Saha Needed To Be Groomed: Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma lauded MS Dhoni as a complete team man, who thought of the team first, and his personal statistics later. The Delhi pacer said that Dhoni was never bothered about playing 100 Tests.
“Although he was close to 100 Tests, he was always a team man. I remember he told me he when we were in England that it is not important for him to play a hundred Tests. Instead, he felt that we need to start grooming (Wriddhiman) Saha. That’s why he took the sudden decision to retire, I feel,” Ishant said.
MS Dhoni played 90 Tests in the longest format of the game, scoring 4876 runs at an average of 38.09, with six hundreds and a best of 224. Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma will become the 11th Indian to play 100 Test matches.
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