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Saturday, November 1, 2014

when MS Dhoni ushered at National scene ~ best thing that occurred

Lankans are here - as replacement for West Indies who abandoned the tour.  Yesterday, in the practice match, with Sri Lanka deciding to give all fifteen members of their squad a go, the match didn't have any statistical relevance.  Pandey was keen to justify his maiden call-up to the national team, after being selected for the Twenty20 against West Indies, which was cancelled following the withdrawal of the West Indians from the tour. Karn, on the other hand, was desperate for a strong performance after losing his place in the limited-overs squad.  Hence,  Manish Pandey's and Karn's efforts in the comprehensive 88-run victory will help push their case for national selection or so one would dream – but, selectors might end up glorifying Rohit's come back and provide him more opportunities.

The big name MSD is not there.  Indian skipper has opted out of the first 3 ODIs and is unlikely to comeback for the latter part too. He has never been afraid of spelling out what he wants – as he did in 2008 when India toured Sri Lanka for the Idea Cup three test series.  No doubt he has been playing too much of Cricket with IPL CLT20 and more.  Mahendra Singh Dhoni (7th July 1981) the best finisher in limited overs cricket,  has come a very long way since he made his debut in Dec 2004 against Bangladesh and played his first test a year later.

Now he holds the post of Vice-President of a big Corporate; has interests in a IPL team, coowns Indian Super League Team Chennaiyin FC; racing team and Hockey team too.  He has been a recipient of many awards including ICC ODI player of the year; Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna; Padma Shri….. and more. 

He has captained India to glory in T20 WC 2007 and WC 2011.

While many would reel out his statistics of Tests, ODIs, T20s – here is something from a tour to Kenya which catapulted him to the big league – remember seeing him a fearless youngster making runs fast in the Tri Nation tournament held at Kenya. 

In the 1st match Pak A made 222 in 50 overs – they were captained by Misbah ul Haq and there were Kamran Akmal Taufeeq Umar and others. Indians were captained by Sairaj Bahutule and bowling attack was Amit Bhandari, SS Paul, AM Salvi, Bahutule, S Sriam and Ramesh Powar.  India opened with Akash Chopra and Gautam Gambhir.  MSD made a dashing 70 and his partnership with Venugopal Rao sealed the match.

On 16th Aug 2004 at Gymkhana Club Nairobhi, Dhoni made a sensational 120 off 122 balls with 10 fours and 2 sixers.  Gambhir made 122 as India made 330 for 6 in 50 overs. Pak could muster only 209.  A couple of days later on 19th Aug 2004, Pak made 234 aided by skipper Misbah’s century.  Dhoni got in at 1.2 when Indians were 8/1, joined Gambhir who made 79.  Dhoni remained unbeaten on 119 with 9 fours and 5 sixers taking India to an easy win.  – that heralded arrival of the new Star, though it was Dinesh Karthik who preceded him.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

31st Oct 2014.

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