Former India skipper M.S. Dhoni will always be remembered for finishing tight matches with a smile and sending a billion people into a frenzy. He might have called time on his international career in August 2020, but Dhoni still holds a special place in the hearts of the fans and just one glimpse of him is enough to send social media into a frenzy.
For over a decade, Dhoni’s unorthodox batting style, especially the famed helicopter shot, gave international bowlers a headache. As the wicketkeeper-batsman celebrates his 40th birthday today, let’s relive his first century in international cricket. It was on April 5, 2005, when Dhoni made his first international ton. The former skipper registered the feat against Pakistan in the second ODI of the six-match series. The match was played at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.
Dhoni had made his ODI debut against Bangladesh in 2004. However, he did not have a good outing as he scored just 19 runs in the three-match series. But the wicket-keeper truly arrived in the series against Pakistan in 2005, as he scored 148 runs in the second ODI at Visakhapatnam.
In the match, India won the toss and opted to bat first. The side lost Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket in the fourth over of the innings and it brought Dhoni to the middle. Dhoni, along with Sehwag, took on the Pakistan bowlers and the duo had a 96-run stand, which saw Sehwag going past the 50-run mark.
Sehwag (74) was sent back to the pavilion in the 14th over, but Dhoni then found support in Rahul Dravid and the duo stitched a 149-run stand. Dhoni smashed 15 fours and four sixes in his innings and scored 148 runs from 123 balls, taking India’s total to 356/9 in the allotted fifty overs. India then managed to defend the total as the side bundled out Pakistan for 298 as Ashish Nehra scalped four wickets.
A young marauder had arrived who was immediately compared to Adam Gilchrist for his heroics with the bat. It was only with time that one realised Dhoni was not just any other player, he was born to create a legacy of his own.
Dhoni played 350 ODIs with his highest score being 183 against Sri Lanka. He also remains the only captain to win all major ICC trophies (50-over World Cup, T20 World Cup, and Champions Trophy).
Also referred to as ‘Captain Cool’, Dhoni during his international and IPL playing days was known for his calmness and exquisite captaincy on the field. Over the years, he cemented his place as one of the finest wicket-keepers across the world. His agility behind the stumps gave India many breakthroughs and turned matches on their head.
He is also known for being precise with reviews and many have jokingly suggested changing the ‘Decision-Review System’ to ‘Dhoni-Review System’.
In December 2014, he announced his retirement from Tests. He called time on his Test career after playing 90 Tests, managing to score 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09.
Then in 2017, he handed over the captaincy to Virat Kohli in the 50-over format. However, the wicket-keeper shared a great camaraderie with the latter and the duo was often seen taking decisions together on the field. When Dhoni called time on his career, Kohli’s heartfelt post on social media indicated his admiration for the former India skipper and won the hearts of people worldwide.
Under Dhoni’s leadership, India also managed to attain the number one ranking in Test cricket. His Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has won the tournament thrice under his leadership.
He might have retired from international cricket, but Dhoni is still enjoying his cricket while playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The now-postponed season of IPL 2021 saw Dhoni bringing his vintage captaincy to the forefront and CSK was seen enjoying a winning run. Fans will be hoping to see more of that when the IPL resumes in UAE in September.
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Olympics: Deepika Kumari bows out after losing to top-seed An San
Star Indian archer Deepika Kumari bowed out of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after losing to South Korea’s An San in the women’s individual quarter-finals here at Yumenoshima Park on Friday.
Top seed San defeated world number one Deepika in an absolutely dominating fashion 6-0 to march into the semi-finals of the individual event. 20-year-old San is aiming for her third gold medal at Tokyo after finishing top of the podium in the mixed team event and the women’s recurve team event. Korean An San had a brilliant start to the first round as she aimed at three 10s while Deepika shot 7-10-10. San carried that momentum in the second round and clinically shot 9-10-7 to which Indian responded with 10-7-7.
The dominance of the South Korean continued in the third set as she gathered 26 as opposed to 24 of Deepika. Match ended in less than six minutes. With this San will either face USA’s Mackenzie Brown or Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia in the last four.
Earlier in the day, Deepika defeated Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Ksenia Perova to progress into the quarter-finals (6-5) in the 1/8 Eliminations round in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
YUZVENDRA CHAHAL AND GOWTHAM TEST POSITIVE IN SRI LANKA
Three days after Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19, it has come to light that spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and K. Gowtham have also tested positive for the virus in Sri Lanka.
Sources in the know of developments confirmed that the duo have tested positive for COVID-19. “Unfortunately, they have tested positive. They were close contacts of Krunal and were already away from the rest of the squad in the team hotel,” the source said. Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and eight Indian players — Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan, and K Gowtham were identified as close contacts.
Being close contacts of Krunal, they were staying away from the rest of the team and didn’t participate in the last two T20Is after Krunal’s test came positive.
Meanwhile, Wanindu Hasaranga’s four-wicket haul and Dhananjaya de Silva’s unbeaten 23-run knock helped Sri Lanka defeat India by seven wickets in the third and final T20I. With this win, Sri Lanka won the series 2-1.Sri Lanka won the T20I series while India had earlier won the ODI series.
TOKYO OLYMPICS: NUMBER ONE SEED DJOKOVIC BOWS OUT, LOSES TO ZVEREV
Number one seed Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic on Friday was knocked out of the men’s singles event in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after losing the semi-final clash. Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated Djokovic 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the men’s singles event.
As a result of this loss, Djokovic would not be able to achieve the Golden Slam (all four Grand Slams and Olympic gold) in the same year. Djokovic had brought out his A-game to the court in the first set, and he ended up winning it 6-1. However, disappointment followed for the Serbian as he lost two back-to-back sets and as a result, he bowed out of the tournament.
Djokovic had won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year and now he would look to win the US Open, beginning August this year. Earlier, top seeds Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka were also knocked out of the Olympics.
INDIA WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM BEAT IRELAND 1-0, KEEP QF HOPES ALIVE
The Indian women’s hockey team defeated Ireland 1-0 here at the Oi Hockey Stadium North Pitch on Friday. As a result, India’s hopes of making it to the quarter-finals of the women’s hockey event remain intact.
Earlier, the Rani Rampal-led side had suffered defeats in its first three group-stage games. The first quarter between India and Ireland saw no goals and after the end of the first 15 minutes, the scoreline remained 0-0.
A similar story was on the offer in the second quarter and at the halftime mark, the scoreline remained the same and it was Rani Rampal’s side that was feeling the pressure going into the third quarter. The third quarter also saw no goals, however, Navneet Kaur finally broke the deadlock in the fourth quarter and she gave India a lead with three minutes left to play. In the end, India managed to hang on to the advantage to score a 1-0 victory.
INDIA MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM FIRE ALL CYLINDERS, DEFEAT JAPAN 5-3
A resilient Indian hockey team came firing on all cylinders to thrash Japan 5-3 in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Friday. This was India’s fourth win of the ongoing quadrennial event. The Men In Blue will next be in action in the quarter-finals of the mega event. Japan might have scored three goals but the Indian boys made sure the Men in Blue were in the lead throughout the game and dominated proceedings.
Just two minutes before the end of the third quarter, India earned their second Penalty Corner only to miss the net. But the Indians were in the lead (3-2) with one quarter to go. Both teams got off to a cautious start but the Manpreet Singh-led side broke the shackles and netted the first goal in the 13th minute.
Gurjant Singh then scored early in the second quarter as India doubled the lead over Japan. However, Japan came back with a goal as Tanaka opened the team’s account.
In the third quarter, Kota Watanabe scored an equaliser but Shamsher Singh again put India on top as he scored a goal in the 34th minute. At the end of the third essay, India led 3-2 with a thrilling final quarter on cards. In the final quarter, Nilakanta Sharma doubled India’s lead after a desperate attempt from both sides to find the net.
TOKYO OLYMPICS: SINDHU DEFEATS YAMAGUCHI, GETS INTO SEMIS
India shuttler P.V. Sindhu stormed into the semi-finals of the women’s singles event after defeating Japan’s number four seed Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 1 on Friday. Sindhu defeated Yamaguchi 21-13, 22-20. The quarterfinal clash between Sindhu and Yamaguchi lasted for 56 minutes.
The first game was more close than the scoreline suggested and Sindhu had to bring out the best in her to win it 21-13. The scoreline in the first game might not indicate how closely it was fought, but Yamaguchi made her fight for every point. The star Indian shuttler was just one more game away from progressing to the semi-finals.
Yamaguchi made Sindhu toil hard in the second game, and for every point, the Indian shuttler had to be at her best. In the end, the number six seed Sindhu ended up winning the match in straight games.
In the second game of the quarter-final, there was a 54-shot rally between Sindhu and Yamaguchi and it lasted for one minute and two seconds. On Thursday, Sindhu had defeated Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the Round of 16 match of women’s individual event in the Tokyo Olympics here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 3. Sindhu defeated Blichfeldt 21-15, 21-13 in just 41 minutes to cruise into the quarter-finals.
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