MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni
ANI

More than cricket, the world saw MS Dhoni for his flamboyant hairstyles as he failed to produce runs in his initial games.

As he struggled on the international scene, Dhoni was seen as another player who would come, play for few matches, and disappear into the oblivion.

In probably what would have been his last game for a while, 23-year-old Dhoni arrived at No. 3 against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam with a small cheer from the crowd which just witnessed the fall of Sachin Tendulkar.

But MS Dhoni soon justified his captain Sourav Ganguly's faith in him and also his own talent.

With just 32 runs under his belt in five matches, Dhoni was in company of Virender Sehwag. 

With Sehwag in form of his life, Dhoni got the leverage to take his time for settling in on a wicket which was nothing less than a belter.

Dhoni found his rhythm with a crisp off drive off Mohammad Sami.

As the runs started coming thick and fast, Afridi's frustration grew stronger. Couple of overs later, he appealed for a close LBW call, but destiny helped the boy from Jharkhand survive.

Next Afridi ball, Dhoni lofted him inside out for four to deep extra cover. Afridi lost his cool and hurled some words at Dhoni, who showed his first signs of a calm demeanour, returning the heat with an icy-cool smile.

From there, Dhoni was not going to hold himself back, the next delivery was smacked over deep extra cover for a maximum.

That over went on to become turning point in his career, giving him the much-needed confidence to do what he had been doing in domestic cricket and on A tours - demolish the bowlers.

He smashed 148 off 123 balls with 15 boundaries and 4 sixes, displaying the wide range of shots he was capable of playing during his knock. At the time it was the highest individual score by an Indian wicketkeeper and the 3rd highest overall behind Adam Gilchrist’s 172 and 154.

After his maiden international hundred, Dhoni went on to smash 9 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.

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