History will know Mahendra Singh Dhoni as one of India’s best Cricket captains and a true legend of the game. Dhoni’s fan following has reached a level where a film is made on his life while he is still playing in the Indian team.
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story spilled a lot of beans from Dhoni’s personal life. The most interesting of which was about his cricketing buddy who taught Dhoni how to play the helicopter shot or as it was earlier called, the “thappad shot”.
Santosh Lal was a fellow cricketer and a friend of Dhoni’s during his early years in the cricketing world. The two would travel around their state for Cricket tournaments, honing their skills with the tennis ball.
As is shown in the movie, Dhoni’s friend introduced him to the “Helicopter shot”. As expected, a young Mahendra Singh Dhoni was taken aback by the shot and expressed his desire to learn it.
Santosh Lal helped Dhoni to learn and perfect the “thappad shot” all the way back in the 90s.
Little did anyone know that this “thappad shot” perfected in the streets of Ranchi will take India to international victories around the globe and make the “helicopter shot” a trademark in the world of Cricket.
According to testimonies of Dhoni’s other friends, Mahi didn’t lose touch with Santosh Lal even after becoming a big star.
During a later stage in his career, Santosh had gone on to play Ranji Trophy for his home state of Jharkhand. However around this time, Santosh suffered a bad case of Pancreatitis which caused him to miss most of his matches.
As Santosh’s condition grew critical, Dhoni arranged for Santosh to be brought to Delhi from Ranchi for treatment but Santosh couldn’t make it and ultimately passed away in 2013.