Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is widely regarded as one of the greatest wicketkeepers in the game. Dhoni has 444 dismissals to his name in 350 ODIs, which is the third-highest for a wicketkeeper in the format. 123 of those include stumpings — the highest by any keeper so far. In fact, he is the only keeper to have over a hundred stumping dismissals to their name, with Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara (99) being the closest.
A lot has been written about the former India captain’s incredible skills with stumping, and R Sridhar, who worked closely with Dhoni as the former fielding coach of India, has now opened up on the keeper’s prowess behind the wickets. Sridhar also warned the young wicketkeepers to not try Dhoni’s technique, as it requires practicing over a ‘million’ times.
Sridhar also lauded Dhoni the keeper, saying that an entire book can be written only on his skills behind the stumps.
“MS Dhoni, the wicketkeeper, is an institution in himself. Dhoni, the wicketkeeper, is a different book to write. None of his skills were developed overnight. It was not in his repertoire when he started or when India won the 2011 World Cup. It is something that has grown as his awareness of the game has gone better,” Sridhar told Sony Sports.
“You didn’t see him doing these things, probably in 2016 (correct me if I am wrong). His awareness of the game has grown so much. And those stumpings that you see, which he does, I would warn young wicketkeepers to not try that at home or in practice because he has done it after collecting millions of deliveries behind the stumps. Even if you break it down in slow motion, while his hands are coming forward towards the stumps, his wrists will be going back, giving a cushion to the balls,” Sridhar added.
Dhoni retired from international cricket in August 2020 but continues to play for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. He confirmed during CSK’s last game of the 2022 edition that he will return for another season next year.