It was the early days of Mahendra Singh Dhoni with the Indian cricket team. Just a year after making his debut for the squad, the young wicket keeper starred in an ODI against Pakistan in Ahmedabad in 2005. However, one mistake in the vital match had made him a prey for sledging from none other than former Team India bowler Ashish Nehra, as the veteran recently recalled the incident of throwing words at a young Mahi 15 years ago.
MS Dhoni, who went onto become one of India’s most spectacular wicket keeping batsmen, was still in his early phases with the seniors of the squad. However, keeping behind the iconic Shahid Afridi on defending India’s total of 315, Dhoni missed a vital catch early on that could’ve sent the Pakistani stalwart batsman marching back to the pavilion, and that earned him Nehra’s anger.
There is a video on YouTube of Nehra sledging Dhoni that has circulated for many years, ann the former Men in Blue international has finally spoken up on the incident in a recent interview with The Times of India.
“I distinctly remember that match in Visakhapatnam. 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,” Nehra said reporters.
The 40 year old also added that the incident actually took place in a different match: “People assume it’s from the Vizag match, but that incident is from the fourth ODI in Ahmedabad.
Although, Nehra clarified that he was ashamed of what he said towards Dravid and a young MS, plus the added pressure of facing someone like Afridi on the pitch.
However, I must admit I am not proud of my behaviour. 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.”
Afridi went onto land a blistering 23-ball-40, as Pakistan won the match with 7 wickets remaining.
Although, Nehra also added that both the players were cool with the sledging, which isn’t an unusual occurrence in the Gentlemen’s Game.
“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 concluded.
Check out the incident from the India-Pakistan match in the video below, courtesy of YouTube user Deepak Sharma.