MS Dhoni’s IPL Challenge: Lose 20kg, Get Picked, Afghan Star Reveals

Former India captain MS Dhoni, known for shaping emerging cricketers in the Indian Premier League (IPL), threw down an intriguing challenge to Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad. According to Asghar Afghan, former Afghanistan captain, Dhoni shared a cheeky condition during a conversation after the tied India vs Afghanistan match in the 2018 Asia Cup.

In a chat with the Times of India, Asghar Afghan recounted the exchange, revealing Dhoni’s playful condition. “Dhoni said, ‘Shahzad has got a big tummy, and if he loses 20 kg, I will pick him in the IPL.’ But when Shahzad returned to Afghanistan after the series, he gained 5 more kgs,” Afghan chuckled.

The conversation unfolded post the thrilling tied match, a memorable moment for Asghar, who expressed, “The tied match of the 2018 Asia Cup was the best moment for me. That was the best match. Both Afghanistan and Indian fans were in tension.”

Reflecting on the decisive last over, Asghar shared insights into his strategic decisions, saying, “I decided to place Najib (Najibullah Zadran) towards mid-on. I told Rashid to bowl a leg break, and Jadeja was out caught to Najib towards mid-wicket. Rashid was so happy, he hugged me. I knew Jadeja would make some room and (try to) smash the ball and would end up giving the catch. And he did the same. I will give credit to Rashid who bowled well and as per the plan.”