When it comes to raising wicketkeeping standards in India, one name that is fondly remembered by many is of MS Dhoni. The veteran wicketkeeper-batter, who became an instant hit because of his captaincy, slowly groomed himself into one of the best custodians behind the stumps, which was vivid with his classical stumping – the most by any wicketkeeper in international cricket till date.
The World Cup-winning captain, however, was not the best when he initially began but working behind the scenes with former India selector and member of the 1983 World Cup winning Kiran More raised his game.
Dhoni in a recent interaction at Livfast event revisited his days working with the India legend. Dhoni shared More didn’t alter with his natural style, and rather focused on important drills, which suited him the best.
“As far as wicketkeeping with the leather ball is concerned, I got a lot of help. Initially, when Kiran More was a selector, he used to be around the team. He helped me a lot with my keeping, with my drills. What I really liked was, he understood my wicketkeeping technique was unique and that I was not copybook style,” Dhoni was quoted as saying in a report on India Today.
“So he gave me the liberty. He said ‘okay, forget copybook. We will do drills, which is important’.
“At the end of the day, what is important is you’re catching every ball, you are not missing anything. You may have a slightly different technique. More or less, it’s the same but there might be minute differences. And once you become more and more confident about your skill over the years, you start getting that confidence where you are willing to experiment also. You are willing to bring in something different that can help the team,” he added.
Dhoni went on to complete his international career with 829 dismissals, which included 195 stumpings. He also stands third most successful wicketkeeper across all formats. Only Mark Boucher (998) and Adam Gilchrist (905) have more dismissals from ‘Captain Cool’.