Kolkata: Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was seen inspecting the pitch at the Eden Gardens before Virat Kohli and his Indian team lock horns with Sri Lanka in the first Test of the three-match series beginning at the iconic venue on November 16.
Dhoni, who had retired from the game’s longest format way back in 2014 was in the city for an ad shoot which also involves the legendary Kapil Dev. The slam-bang wicket-keeper was seen talking to Eden curator Sujan Mukherrjee after the examining the pitch that would host the first Testof the India-Sri Lanka series.
Said Mukherjee, “Dhoni really appreciated the pitch preparation and wished us for the Test match.” Both of India’s World Cup winning captains spent the whole day at the ground and then interacted with children.
The legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev first bowled to Dhoni after which the wicket-keeper batsman tried his hand with the ball. The 33-second ad film has been directed by renowned producer-director Arindam Sil.
Sil was a happy man having got the opportunity to shoot with Dhoni and Kapil at the historical venue, termed this as a, “lifetime experience” for him.
He said, “It’s the Mecca of Cricket and I had two World Cup winning captains shooting for me. It’s the most memorable day in my life.”
“They were the the best of the captains. I felt nostalgic. I have watched them play from the same galleries here but to shoot with them now at the same venue is a lifetime experience,” he added.
Sil admitted that he made these two legends slog it out under the sun at the Eden Gardens and despite that, they didn’t complain and remained patient humble.
He said, “Kapil said he would get tired to bowl but once he went to his bowling marks he went on and on and bowled numerous deliveries. He also batted and it felt the Kapil Dev of old is back.”
A lot of kids also got the opportunity to meet Dhoni, who gave them useful tips. Said Sil, “He told them on how to play aggressively about the stance and all of this in the midst of the busy work. It’s brilliant.”
He also added that the wicket-keeper batsman was a natural actor and while thanking former skipper Sourav Ganguly, the president of the CAB, he said, “I didn’t require a retake from Dhoni, he was natural in front of the camera.”
He then said, ” I am thankful to Sourav (Ganguly) for providing us the Eden. He said ‘please go ahead.”
Ganguly later joined the iconic duo towards the end of the day and the three posed for a wonderful picture. Former Jharkhand cricketer Mihir Diwakar, who is also Dhoni’s commercial partner in Aarka Sports while interacting with PTI, said that the former Indian skipper would fly off to Dubai to inaugurate the MS Dhoni Cricket Academy on November 11.
He said, “He flew straight from Thiruvananthapuram after playing the final T20I (against New Zealand) yesterday afternoon. His schedule is hectic but he keeps himself fit sticking to his regime.”