Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ Sep 7 2022, 1:59 PM

Behind the click:The birth of a Legend

image-l7rjkhruMS Dhoni scored his maiden ODI century against Pakistan on 5th April, 2005 [PC: Twitter]

“One day your reality will be better than your dreams”

The moment in the image was when MS Dhoni’s reality started to get better than his dreams. 

The year was 2005, India was playing Pakistan at Vizag on April 5th, 2005. This match turned out to be the breakthrough for a legend in Indian cricket who took the nation to new heights in the game. 

The Backdrop

The Indian innings was opened by Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. At the team’s score of 26 runs, Sachin (2 off 8) was dismissed.

image-l7rjn7afSehwag and Dhoni begun an onslaught of the Pakistani bowling (PC: Twitter)

At this juncture Sourav Ganguly, the then Indian skipper came up with a masterstroke. He sent the flamboyant youngster MS Dhoni to bat at number three. 

Importance of the match in Dhoni’s career

Dhoni had played 4 ODI matches for India before this one. His scores in the respective matches were - 0 (1), 12(11), 7*(2) and 3(7). 

A young man comes into bat against the Pakistan bowling attack at number three with his career at stake and India in a not so comfortable position. It was how Dhoni responded to the situation that would have decided his fate. 

Dhoni’s response

image-l7rjchc5Dhoni played shots all-round the ground (PC: Twitter)

Even if there were nerves within him, Dhoni did not show them while walking out. There was a hint of flamboyance in the way he walked out to the pitch and took his guard. 

The first ball he faced was in the fifth over of the innings against Mohammad Sami. It was a full pitched delivery and Dhoni played a glorious straight drive past mid-off for a four. It was a shot that oozed confidence and showed glimpses of a man who never bowed down to nerves in the next 15 years. 

Dhoni played an array of strokes to every corner of the ground during his stay at the crease. A brilliant knock of 148 runs off 123 deliveries  decorated by 15 fours and 4 sixes helped India post a huge total of 356 runs in their 50 overs. 

Virender Sehwag also played a significant role as he scored 74 runs off just 40 balls opening the innings. Indian defended the total quite comfortably as they bundled out Pakistan for 298 runs in the 45th over of the second innings. The home team emerged victorious by 58 runs. 

The Birth of MSD

image-l7rj6gstMS Dhoni's flamboyance made him an instant craze throughout the nation (PC : Twitter)

The journey from a young player in the Indian scheme of things, MS Dhoni to being everybody’s beloved MSD started with this innings. In the years to come the flamboyance of that innings faded, but MS never failed to stand up for his team when needed. 

He gave the Indian fans many memorable moments throughout his career, but a fan who has seen this flamboyant knock from the man would know of the hitting power and composed aggressiveness the man had. 

The fact that he moulded himself according to the needs of the team as his career progressed and played as per the demand of the hour marks the greatness of MS. 

image-l7rj9b3oThe iconic six that marked India's World Cup victory after 28 years (PC: Twitter)

From ‘Mahi maar raha hain’ to ‘Dhoni finishes off in style’, it was a journey that we lived along with ‘Captain Cool’. The flamboyant MS Dhoni against Pakistan in this match will forever remain etched in our hearts. 

Also Read:PAK vs AFG: How can Afghanistan stop the Pakistan winning wagon?