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“You left me midway in my last Test match” - MS Dhoni to Ishant Sharma before announcing his Test retirement

MS Dhoni and Ishant Sharma
MS Dhoni and Ishant Sharma
ANALYST
Modified 23 Feb 2021
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Veteran Indian pacer Ishant Sharma has revealed that he played the 2014 Melbourne Test, which turned out to be MS Dhoni’s last, with multiple injections owing to severe knee pain.

MS Dhoni stunned world cricket by announcing his retirement from Test cricket after the Boxing Day Test in 2014, a match that ended in a draw.

In a video interaction with Ravichandran Ashwin on the eve of his 100th Test, Ishant Sharma revealed how he learned about MS Dhoni’s shocking retirement decision. He recalled:

“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.”

Continuing the story, Ishant Sharma added:

“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’.”

Ishant Sharma had a stunned reaction. He recalled his response:

“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.”

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MS Dhoni was always a team man: Ishant Sharma

Describing MS Dhoni as someone who cared little for numbers, the fast bowler added that he was never bothered about playing 100 Tests, a significant landmark for a Test player. Ishant Sharma said in this regard:

“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 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.”

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.

Ishant Sharma is all set to feature in his 100th Test when India face England in the pink-ball Test, which starts Wednesday at the Motera.

Published 23 Feb 2021, 20:53 IST
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