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Afghanistan, India

Mohammad Shahzad - Afghan inspired by MS Dhoni

Mohammad Shahzad, Afghanistan’s 25-year-old right handed opening batsman and wicketkeeper, had not heard the name of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s closest friend Santosh Lal, who died in Delhi on Wednesday.

By BIPIN DANI

Shahzad was made aware that his favourite “helicopter shot” was taught to Dhoni by his Bihar and Jharkhand team-mate, Santosh Lal.

Speaking exclusively over his mobile from Kabul, he said, “I am really sad to hear the news about Dhoni’s friend. RIP”.

Interestingly, the helicopter shot is also being tried by this Afghan player.

“I really did hard work on helicopter shot from 2009. It’s really a hard shot to play, for this shot requires a lot of wrist exercise to do”.

“I played this helicopter shot in front of Dhoni in Sri Lanka against India in the T20 World Cup. He and Sehwag smiled at my shot”.

“I am lucky to meet my idol , I’ve met him in 2010 T20 World Cup in West Indies and sat with him for more than three hours in his room”.

“I again met him in 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, when he gifted me his bat which is in use by me in domestic matches”.

“Dhoni is the best person I’ve ever met in my life. I am more popular in Afghanistan because of the helicopter shot”, he signed off.

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About Bipin Dani

A Civil Engineer by profession, Bipin is now a senior cricket journalist in India having toured UAE, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Malaysia etc covering the game. He contributes to various newspapers in Asia's four Test playing nations. He is our Bombay Badger - sorry but sounds better that Mumbai.

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