MS Dhoni    Getty Images
MS Dhoni Getty Images

When India had locked horns with Pakistan in Asia Cup 2016, MS Dhoni had kept wickets for 17.3 overs, including two catches and a run out. And when India had lost half the side thanks to Mohammad Aamer s spectacular spell, the team needed the then captain s services for the final blow: he scored 7 runs off 3 balls, taking his team home.

Apart from captaincy, Dhoni had a very little role to play otherwise. However, MSK Prasad revealed an untold story from that night.

We see have been seeing Dhoni arch his distressing back since 2007 World Cup. He, however, finds a way to walk through pain.

Speaking at the sidelines of an event, chief selector Prasad, as reported by The Indian Express, recalled an incident: While training at the gym late in the night, Dhoni picked up weights and suddenly there was a catch in his back and fell with the weight. Thankfully, the weight did not fall on him. He could not walk, he was literally crawling. He pressed the alarm bell, and the medical staff immediately came and attended him. He was taken on stretcher.

As I reached Dhaka, the journalists questioned about Dhoni and I had no answers. The game against Pakistan was crucial, that too, it was on a seaming track. So, I went to Dhoni s room to know what the issue was. He said, don t worry, MSK-bhai . I even asked him what should I tell the scribes, and the answer again was don t worry, MSK-bhai . I asked him whether we should call for a replacement, and he again told me not to worry.

Be it World Cup or a bilateral series, an India-Pakistan match creates a lot of spike. To add to the fire, there are people who watch the game only when these teams square off. It may be an entertaining spectacle for us, but the players are under humongous pressure. Dhoni may be the cool guy we know, but he knew the importance of the game.

Prasad added, There was so much pressure before a big match. The next morning I went to his room and he told me not to worry. But I felt things were not right. [As selector] I couldn t take Dhoni s words for granted, so I called up the then chief selector Sandeep Patil and told him the situation. Parthiv Patel was sent in as an immediate replacement.

By evening, Parthiv had joined the team: I went to his room in the evening and he was just trying to get up from his bed. I asked him if things are alright. As per the Asia Cup rules, we had to submit the team list 24 hours before a game, so I had to check on him. He clearly said that he would play.

Prasad had no option but to check on Dhoni. Again, at 11 pm, when I went to his room, he was not there. Fortunately, I went to the top floor and I saw Dhoni was trying hard to walk towards the swimming pool. He was literally crawling. Dhoni said he was trying to walk. I was thinking how could he even think of playing when he could barely walk. Dhoni looked at me and said: Don t worry, you have anyway got Parthiv without telling me. So you are safe.

Dhoni had kept everyone in suspense. Although he wanted to play irrespective of the nature of his injury, India could not have afforded an unfit Dhoni in such high-voltage contest.

Then came the climax of the story: Before the team was announced in the afternoon, Dhoni was all dressed up for the game. He called me to his room and asked me why was I worrying so much? Then he said, even if my one leg is not there, I will still play against Pakistan .