Former pacer Ashish Nehra opened up on an infamous video clip from the 2005 India-Pakistan encounter, where he is seen giving a young MS Dhoni a tongue-lashing following a drop catch.
Dhoni came into the limelight during the six-match One-day International series, smashing a breathtaking 148 in the second match at Visakhapatnam. In the fourth ODI, a frustrated Nehra is seeing mouthing off to Dhoni, who’d just dropped a simple catch off the dangerous Shahid Afridi.
“I distinctly remember that match in Visakhapatnam,” Nehra told Crizbuzz.
“It was the second ODI of that series. In a video that went viral, I am seen hurling abuses at MS after an edge off Shahid Afridi’s bat goes between Dhoni and Rahul Dravid at first slip. People assume it’s from the Vizag match, but that incident is from the fourth ODI in Ahmedabad.”
Nehra, who went on to play under Dhoni for India and Chennai Super Kings, said he regretted the incident.
“I must admit I am not proud of my behaviour,” Nehra added. “I had been hit for six by Afridi off just the previous ball. There was the usual pressure of an India-Pakistan match. Suddenly, I created a chance and it was missed. I lost my cool. That wasn’t the only incident where a player has lost his cool in that manner. Both Dravid and Dhoni were fine with me after the game but that doesn’t justify my behaviour.”
Nehra hailed the impact the World Cup-winning captain has gone on to have on Indian cricket. He said: “The video is still popular because it has Dhoni in it. It’s like that old picture of me presenting an award to Virat Kohli when he was a kid. The picture is famous because it has Kohli in it, not because of me. I know someday my kids will eventually watch that video clip and I’ll have to explain why I behaved that way.”
Dhoni came in at No 3 while playing his epic knock. “Unwavering self-confidence is Dhoni’s strength. That innings was like he had tasted blood and he yearned for more. He hardly ever batted at No 3 after that innings but he had made a statement that day. We lost all the remaining four matches in that series but we discovered Dhoni.”
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