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This is the tragic story of Santosh Lal, the man who taught Dhoni the 'Helicopter Shot'

India Today logo India Today 22-11-2016

Sushant Singh Rajput as MS Dhoni is seen to be learning the helicopter shot from his friend in MS Dhoni: The Untold Story but do you know what happened to the 'real' friend who taught Dhoni the helicopter shot?

Well, his name is Santosh Lal, and sadly, he is no more.

The Helicopter Shot, made famous by India's limited overs cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one where he hoists his bat up right from the ground on backfoot and smacks the ball high up in the air and 9 times out of 10, it results in a six.

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Back when, Dhoni learned this shot as a youngster, it was called the Thappad Shot and Santosh Lal was the one who taught him. The two were childhood friends and they travelled to different states to play cricket tournaments.

Santosh's friend was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "He (Santosh) and Dhoni were the best of friends since childhood. They would play tennis ball games endlessly. They both worked for Railways. Santosh was fearless as a batsman. Over the years, Dhoni may have patented the helicopter shot but growing up, there was someone who was better at it. Dhoni always admired his batting style. And Santosh taught him to play the helicopter shot."

Santosh and Dhoni continued to be friends even after the latter became a star in international cricket. However, sadly, Santosh died after suffering from pancreatitis when he was 32 years old. Dhoni arranged an ambulance for his friend to shift him to a hospital in Delhi but that still could not save him.

Watch: Best helicopter shots in cricket history

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