On MS Dhoni's 43rd birthday, recalling tragic story of real owner of the famous 'helicopter shot'

Check out what happened to MS Dhoni's childhood friend who taught him to master the famous 'helicopter shot as the legendary cricketer celebrates his 43rd birthday.

Jerin K Tomy
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MS Dhoni with his childhood friend Santosh (Source: X)

MS Dhoni with his childhood friend Santosh (Source: X)

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July 7 is a special day for Indian cricket fans as it marks the birthday of former captain MS Dhoni. One of the greatest cricketers in history has turned 43 today (Sunday). There is no shortage of adjectives to describe the man from Ranchi as he has made a lasting impact on and off the field over the years.

The only captain in history to have won all three ICC trophies in white-ball cricket and led Chennai Super Kings to a record-equalling five victories, Dhoni is considered one of the greatest leaders ever. As much as his captaincy acumen is admired, his finishing skills and lightning-quick hands behind the stumps have been crucial contributors to all of India's and CSK's victories. 

Also Check: MS Dhoni cuts cake to celebrate 43rd birthday, wife Sakshi touches his feet

When we talk about Dhoni's batting or heroic finishes, the first thing that comes to mind is the much-acclaimed 'helicopter shot'. The trademark stroke of 'Captain Cool' has found a special place in the hearts of fans. It is a treat to watch when Dhoni dispatches the ball into the stands with brute power coupled with amazing wrist work and bat speed.

He has hit a total of 611 sixes in his international and IPL career, many of which have come with this signature shot. However, many of his fans still believe that Dhoni himself is the real owner of this shot. But it was his friend Santosh Lal who taught him to play this shot, which was earlier known as ‘Thappad Shot’.

Story behind ‘helicopter shot’ and what happened to Dhoni's childhood friend 

In the biopic of MS Dhoni, ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’, released in 2016, it was revealed that Dhoni is not the original inventor of this iconic shot. The movie showed Dhoni seeking help from Santosh to master this unusual shot.

Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who portrayed the character of Dhoni, was seen asking his friend to teach him the ‘Thappad Shot’ in exchange for some singhadas (samosas). Dhoni and Santosh were good friends and had played a lot of tennis ball cricket together. They also used to travel together across the state for matches. 

Sadly, Santosh died of pancreatitis in 2013 at the age of 32. Dhoni was away on tour with the Indian team during this tragic incident. However, after learning about his friend's condition, the cricketer arranged for an air ambulance to take Santosh from Ranchi to Delhi for better treatment. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, the helicopter landed in Varanasi before reaching Delhi and when it finally arrived it was too late.

MS Dhoni