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MS Dhoni turns nostalgic at Vizag where he had belted Pakistan for his 1st hundred

Dhoni has fond memories from the venue and will want to relive those tomorrow.

MS Dhoni inspecting the pitch
MS Dhoni inspecting the pitch. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Thirteen years ago, it was on a hot April afternoon that Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his grand arrival on the world stage. Though Dhoni had made his ODI debut against Bangladesh in December 2004, it was his fourth innings at the port city of Vishakhapatnam against arch-rivals Pakistan that saw the birth of a new star. MS Dhoni, 24 then, slammed 148 off just 123 balls (15 fours, four sixes) at No.3 to help India defeat the rivals by 58 runs. There was no other choice but pick the man as the man of the match on that day.

Fast forward to 2018. On Wednesday, Dhoni will face history once again when India take on the Windies at the same Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam, for the second match of the ongoing ODI series. Incidentally, the game in which Dhoni had belted 148 was also the second in the series against Pakistan. On the eve of the match, Dhoni inspected the pitch at the venue along with teammate Ambati Rayudu. He spent some time on the ground and spoke with the curator and ground staff for a long time.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India tweeted pictures of the 37-year-old inspecting the pitch in Vizag and described him as “the king”.

On that April afternoon, the young Dhoni was so dominating that even established star Virender Sehwag’s 40-ball 70 looked pale in comparison. The two, however, had put up 96 runs in just 10 overs in that game after the dismissal of the great Sachin Tendulkar.

Dhoni remembers Vizag fondly

Dhoni himself also remembers the venue fondly and has tweeted in the past calling it the “home” to his “first big innings”. He will be looking to relive the memory in Wednesday’s game, especially given the fact that he has struggled with the bat of late and is a pale shadow of the dashing hitter he has been once.

The veteran could manage just 77 runs in the Asia Cup held last month at an average of below 20 and strike rate of 62.09. Though he completed 10,000 runs in ODIs recently, his form with the willow has been far from satisfactory, raising questions over his automatic selection in the run-up to the next World Cup in 2019.

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