It was Banerjee who asked Dhoni to switch from football to cricket at a time when the former Indian captain was a student of DAV School in Ranchi.
And on Wednesday (January 4), Banerjee when contacted over phone for his reaction, said, "I am surprised after having heard about the announcement of stepping down from captaincy. Before going to Nagpur with Jharkhand team to inspire the boys in the Ranji Trophy, Dhoni met me at the school."
"He always comes here whenever he is in Ranchi. We had talks for some time and there was no hint from his part that he was thinking of taking such a decision. Rather from his words I had a feeling that Dhoni had started preparations for the Champions Trophy (in June). But today after hearing his decision, I am little bit surprised," he added.
The school teacher however feels now it will be easier for Dhoni to play more freely. Banerjeee said, "Now I am expecting more exhilarating show from him which was absent in recent times from his batting. Although we could not gauge his psychological pressure as a captain watching his nonchalant face, it was a fact that being the captain of Indian senior cricket team there is nobody who does not succumb to psychological pressure. So, now He will be free from that pressure and I hope the old excitement in his batting will be seen again."
Chanchal Bhattacharya is another coach of Dhoni’s early days. Bhattacharya was the man who used to roam around several places, taking Dhoni on his scooter so that his student could play.
Bhattacharya, commenting on Dhoni’s decision, said, "I am not surprised by his sudden decision. He speaks less, works much. But now I believe, relieved from captaincy Dhoni will regain his old touch in batting."