Visakhapatnam, April 5 (IANS) On this day, 15 years ago, MS Dhoni announced himself in international cricket with a bludgeoning hundred against Pakistan here and never looked back.
It was Dhoni’s 5th ODI on April 5 in 2005 and he did not have a great start to his career with poor shows in the first four matches. But under then skipper and now BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, Dhoni was fortunate to get a long rope and he repayed the faith showed on him in grand fashion by smashing 148 off 123 balls with 15 boundaries and 4 sixes.
Dhoni joined forces with Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid to stitch partnerships of 96 and 149 respectively.
After his maiden international ton, Dhoni went on to slam nine more triple-figure scores in ODI cricket with 10,773 runs at an average of 50.57 with 73 half-centuries. His 183 not out against Sri Lanka is still the highest score by a wicketkeeper in ODI cricket.
Dhoni went on to lead India to two World Cups (2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 50-over World Cup) and is regarded as one of the best captains the game has ever seen.Former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra feels that the factor that helped Dhoni stand out among his contemporary wicketkeepers in the early part of his career was the fact that he made the most of the opportunities he got.
Nehra said that Dhoni’s knock gave India the confidence that they too could have a good wicketkeeper-batsman at a time when they were looking to relieve Rahul Dravid of wicketkeeping duties.”That innings got the team to believe that we too could have a prolific wicketkeeper-batsman,” Nehra told the Times of India.
“Dhoni didn’t have a great time in his initial matches. But when a confident man like him gets an opportunity and cashes in, then it’s hard to pull him back.Unwavering self-confidence is Dhoni’s strength. That innings was like he had tasted blood and he yearned for more. He hardly ever batted at No. 3 after that innings but he had made a statement that day. We lost all the remaining four matches in that series but we discovered Dhoni.”