Former India captain and current wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced himself to the world on the back of his maiden ODI century against Pakistan during the second ODI of Pakistan’s tour of India in Visakhapatnam.
Having scored a total of 22 runs at No. 7 in his first four ODIs, Dhoni gleefully accepted the batting promotion to No. 3 with both hands. Coming in to bat in the fourth over, the next 38 overs pretty much changed everything in the right direction for Dhoni.
Sharing a brisk 96-run partnership for the second wicket alongside opening batsman Virender Sehwag (74), Dhoni played his natural game to the best of his efforts and didn’t appear to get his eye in first especially when the senior batsman was tearing the Pakistani bowling attack apart.
It was on the penultimate delivery of the 20th over that Dhoni ran a single off Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Sami to complete his maiden half-century.
With captain Sourav Ganguly (9) also back in the pavilion, what followed was a 149-run partnership dominated by Dhoni alongside vice-captain Rahul Dravid. On the second delivery of the 32nd over, Dhoni ran a single off Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi to reach the three-figure mark.
23-year old fearless Dhoni continued to play his shots and make the most of a historic knock before getting out to Pakistan all-rounder Mohammed Hafeez after scoring 148 (123) with the help of 15 fours and four sixes. The mind-blowing innings earned Dhoni the first of his 21 ‘Man of the Match’ awards in ODIs as India registered a 58-run victory after posting 356-9 in 50 overs.
In the 17th ODIs that Dhoni played at No. 3, he scored 993 runs at an average of 82.75 and a strike rate of 99.69 including two centuries and six half-centuries.
Dhoni’s current status in cricket
The former Indian skipper MS Dhoni was last seen in action against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup semifinal, a game India lost. He made himself unavailable for India’s international assignments post the WC exit and was eventually dropped from the BCCI’s list of centrally contracted players in January.
As pointed out by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and India head coach Ravi Shastri, “Dhoni’s international future depends on his performances in IPL 2020 which comes in to consider him in T20 World Cup planned later this year in Australia”.
BCCI postponed the Indian Premier League to avoid the spread of corona virus. Thus the tension arises among Dhoni’s fan as this IPL plays a crucial role in his future International cricket role.
Earlier former Indian cricketer Sehwag and Australian bowler Brad Hogg throws their view on Dhoni’s possible return to Indian squad for T20 world cup. Sunil Gavaskar too insist Dhoni to retire from the cricket.