India's limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that 15-year-old Pranav Dhanawade's 1009-run record should not be taken lightly.
Also Read: How Dhanawade proved he is a Mumbai cricketer, after all!
MS Dhoni addresses the media prior to Team India's departure to Australia yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
"It is no joke. We may find people talking of where he played the match and all, but it is serious business. No matter where you play or in which conditions, it is very difficult to score these many runs. We should also consider the individual's age. There will be comparisons made, but it is important to guide him, nurture him and the role of his coach, parents will be important to show him the right way. He has definitely got the talent, it is all about improving and keep pushing forward," Dhoni told reporters on the eve of Team India's departure to Australia for five-ODI and three T20I series yesterday.
'A rare & special talent'
Dhoni called Dhanawade a 'rare and special talent'. "I am sure he is a special kid. He must have worked really hard while practicing. I would have got bored batting for so long," Dhoni quipped. What impressed Dhoni the most was that Dhanawade had the right mix. "He has not scored these runs in ones or twos. He has hit a lot of sixes (59) which showed that he took calculated risks. It is rare to have a right mix," Dhoni said.
Run-machine Ajinkya Rahane urged his fellow Mumbaikar not to get swayed with all the attention his knock has garnered. "It is incredible to score 1009 runs. Bolne ko itna samay lagta hai (It takes so much time to just mention his score)," Rahane said. "There will be many people who would like to come near him after this (feat) and try to distract him. It is important he keeps his focus on cricket. Scoring these many runs even on a flat pitch is difficult because it is not easy to keep your focus and concentration intact for so long. I am eager to see him play with us (the Indian team) one day," said Rahane.