MS Dhoni returns to Vizag where he made a sizzling ton against Pak in 2005

Updated: Dec 16, 2017, 09:42 IST | Harit N Joshi | Visakhapatnam

In his biopic, Mahendra Singh Dhoni revealed the uncertainty over his place in the team going into the second match against Pakistan at the ACA-VDCA Dr YSR Stadium here in 2005

In his biopic, Mahendra Singh Dhoni revealed the uncertainty over his place in the team going into the second match against Pakistan at the ACA-VDCA Dr YSR Stadium here in 2005. After all, the rookie had failed miserably in his first four innings. Cut to 2017 and Dhoni faces uncertainty when it comes to the 2019 World Cup.

MS Dhoni celebrates his century against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam on April 5, 2005
MS Dhoni celebrates his century against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam on April 5, 2005

Before coming into the Sri Lanka series, critics questioned Dhoni's place in India's ODI set up. Several pundits are sure that India's most successful skipper does not fit into the T20 scheme of things anymore. His form comes under scrutiny in every series. However, his gritty batting on a seaming Dharamsala pitch in the first ODI against Sri Lanka last Sunday, silenced his critics for a while.

Only Dhoni showed the right application, shot selection and technique during his 87-ball 65 to counter the extra swing and seam movement generated off the surface. The rest of the batting was thoroughly exposed. As the Indian and Sri Lankan teams assembled here for Sunday's ODI series decider, the ACA-VDCA Dr YSR Stadium would be a perfect venue for Dhoni to hit his critics out of the park just like when he announced his arrival at the international stage here in 2005.

MS Dhoni hits out in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Mohali on Wednesday. Pics/AFP
MS Dhoni hits out in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Mohali on Wednesday. Pics/AFP

Dhoni slammed his maiden ODI ton with an innings of 148, which remains the highest score at this ground till date, as India beat Pakistan by 48 runs in the second match of the series. That knock made the world take notice of Dhoni's talent. A vintage knock here on Sunday might just be the catalyst that Dhoni would require to sail smoothly till the 2019 World Cup.

India skipper for the SL series, Rohit Sharma though made it clear that Dhoni remains the pillar of the team. “I never understood that there was even a talk of him before this game (of being) in our plans or not. Once he gets runs the whole conversation changes. He's been a pillar of this team for many years and he will continue to be. He showed us again how to bat in that situation,” Rohit had said after the Dharamsala drubbing.

Dhoni is on the brink of two major milestones in his ODI career - he is just 102 runs from notching up 10,000 runs and only four away from 400 dismissals as wicketkeeper. It would be a perfect setting for Dhoni to set the record straight at a venue where it all began for the Indian legend.

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