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MS Dhoni’s maiden international century felt like he had tasted blood: Ashish Nehra

The date was April 5, 2005, when India wicketkeeper-batsman and former skipper MS Dhoni scored 148, his maiden international ton, against arch-rivals Pakistan.

SNS | New Delhi |

Recalling the famous 148 off 123 from MS Dhoni against Pakistan in Vizag, former India pacer Ashish Nehra said that the knock felt like Dhoni had tasted blood.

The date was April 5, 2005, when India wicketkeeper-batsman and former skipper MS Dhoni scored 148, his maiden international ton, against arch-rivals Pakistan.

It was India against Pakistan in the second ODI of the six-match series. Then India skipper Sourav Ganguly won the toss and decided to bat first against the Green Brigade at ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.

The Men in Blue lost opener Sachin Tendulkar (2) and got reduced to 26/1. Ganguly decided to promote Dhoni up in the batting order and the wicketkeeper-batsman, who had scored only 3 runs in the previous match, smacked the Pakistani bowlers all around the park this time to score 148 off just 123 balls. His blitzkrieg included 15 fours and four sixes.

“Unwavering self-confidence is Dhoni’s strength. That innings was like he had tasted blood and he yearned for more. He hardly ever batted at No. 3 after that innings but he had made a statement that day. We lost all the remaining four matches in that series but we discovered Dhoni,” Nehra said as quoted by IANS via the Times of India.

“That innings got the team to believe that we too could have a prolific wicketkeeper-batsman.

“Dhoni didn’t have a great time in his initial matches. But when a confident man like him gets an opportunity and cashes in, then it’s hard to pull him back,” Nehra added.

Since the innings at Vizag, Dhoni never looked back and went on to score 10 ODI tons, including the famous and career-best 183 not out off 145 balls against Sri Lanka in 2005.

However, Dhoni last played a competitive match was the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semifinal where the Men in Blue were knocked out of the tournament after losing to New Zealand.