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Belagavi: A tiny tot from Belagavi is gearing up to become a cricketer like Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Extremely talented five year-old Kalicharan Chougale is a UKG student at St Paul’s High School with an ability to swing his bat like Dhoni and passion for keeping the wickets. An ardent fan of Dhoni, the boy watches all cricket matches played by Dhoni along with his parents on TV at home.

His father Sandeep Chougule who works at a motor winding unit at Phulbag Galli is always busy training Kalicharan in cricket during his free hours.`Since the age of one, the boy has been fond of Dhoni’s cricketing styles. He is such a crazy fan of Dhoni that he left watching cricket on TV when Dhoni announced his retirement to International cricket,” Sandeep says.

Kalicharan practices batting and wicket-keeping everyday imitating his favourite cricketer Dhoni and aims at becoming a wicket-keeper batsman one day and lead the Indian cricket team. His mother Pooja and brother Pranav stand by him whenever he goes out of home to play cricket.

A keen observer of Dhoni’s batting, Kalicharan has adopted all batting and keeping techniques of Dhoni and swings the bat firmly to play straight drivers, cover drives, sweep, helicopter shot and square cut.

The general knowledge of the boy besides playing cricket has been impressive as he possess knowledge about various fields including environent, geography, politics, maths and other current affairs. His answer to any questions posed to him is instantly ready.

Several personalities like social worker Avinash Potdar, sports enthusiast Sunil Desai and mahesh Pagare have helped him in playing cricket at Union Gymkhana ground. His school staff and principal are proud to extend help to the boy in shaping his personality.