M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story release this past Friday, and has been creating waves at the box-office besides getting glowing reviews from critics. And among the many scenes from Dhoni’s real-life that unfolded on screen, one scene that left a lasting impression on us was how the great MSD came to learn his signature helicopter shot. After all, it’s a shot that’s all his own and has entertained millions over the years. So imagine the audience’s surprise when it was revealed that it was actually one of Dhoni’s close friends, Santosh Lal, who was the original exponent of the shot, and had graciously taught him how to play it in exchange for a few samosas.
The film also highlighted how close Dhoni was with his buddies, and how they were his pillars of strength through his every hardship and setback, and Santosh was an intrinsic part of this clique. Being the only one in the group, who also played professional cricket, Santosh and Dhoni used to travel for a lot of state tournaments together before the latter made it big. In fact, even Dhoni used to admit that Sanotsh was better at playing the helicopter shot than him, which was called the thappad shot back then.
However, what not many know, since it wasn’t shown in the film, is the tragic end Santosh met later in life. The poor guy succumbed to pancreatitis in the prime of life. Dhoni, being a loyal friend even after becoming a star, went all out to aid his ailing friend, by having him air-lifted to a Delhi hospital. Alas, his efforts bore no fruit, and Santosh Lal breathed his last at the young age of 32. But not before teaching one of India’s greatest cricketers and the world’s best finisher a shot that has won many the country many a cricket match, and given scores of Indians immense pride and joy.
Images Sources: Fox Star Studios, BCCI, and Sportskeeda