Those who have watched the first ODI hundred of MS Dhoni will never forget how the newcomer commanded the innings. It was just his 5th ODI match and after continuous failures the wicket-keeper batsman had to perform. The innings was played in 2005, and like the viewers, Abdul Razzaq, who was part of that game remembers the majestic innings in Vizag.
Razzaq said he already sensed that Dhoni is going to be a big player. “We were wondering who he was. After he smashed those 148 runs, we got the answer. His confidence, for someone who’d started his international career, was amazing. After watching him pelt our attack, I sensed he’d be a big player,” Razzaq told Mirror.
The all-rounder had conceded only 55 runs in 10 overs in that match, surviving Dhoni's attack. Razzaq knows why Dhoni could strike the ball so well. “Dhoni has an impeccable base when it comes to striking the ball. That’s why he was able to hit the ball straight. Like in that Vizag innings against us, he cleared areas like mid-on at will. That’s what top-order batsmen do. To score big against Pakistan is the ultimate yardstick for Indian youngsters. Suddenly, they become a rage in the nation. It’s the same with our boys against India," he added.
Pakistan knew India has got a star in making after the innings. Razzaq said India should be proud of Dhoni. “There was a certain look about him, an indistinguishable quality that’s hard to explain. Also, you might be a fantastic player, but it’s equally essential to be a good person. And Dhoni is one such,” he said. “India should be proud this man reciprocated fans’ faith by giving two World Cups, the 2007 World T20, and the 2011 50-overs.”
Despite so much hype, Dhoni couldn't do much when he walked out to bat in Vizag on Wednesday. He just scored 20 off 25 balls and was cleaned up by the debutant OC McCoy.
The game was tied after both the teams finished on 321. Man of the Match was given to Virat Kohli who scored 157 not out.