The one question Ryan ten Doeschate has fielded repeatedly since reaching India is his selection to the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and what value he could bring to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who purchased him for Rs 67.7 lakh.
The 30-year-old Netherlands player answered that question on Tuesday, after producing a brilliant all-round performance against England in their World Cup opener here.
The manner in which ten Doeschate went about building his innings after struggling initially, and how he got his team back in the hunt with tight seam bowling, stood out. The focus stayed firmly on his brilliant century and economical bowling although England got away in the end. "Before coming here, I was struggling with my timing and form; that's why this century is so special," said the man called Tendo.
The innings was in line with the South Africa-born player's career graph, after he struggled to find his feet professionally for almost three years. But he hasn't looked back since he got over the initial lack of self-belief and an injury scare.
The 2008 and 2010 ICC Associate Player of Year was picked by Essex in 2003 after impressive performances in pre-season warm-up games for South Africa's Western Province. But his career looked almost over due to an injury in 2004, and lack of form.
However, a match-winning knock against Middlesex in June 2005 changed it all. "I've been playing the best cricket of my life in the last few years. Personally, it is about as close to a perfect innings as I want to play one-day cricket," said the player, who averages 71.21with the bat in 28 ODIs.
He announced his arrival for The Netherlands by scoring four centuries in the Intercontinental Cup and finishing with an average of 228.66.
Ten Doeschate is aware the World Cup could be the last he will play at his peak. And KKR won't mind an unlikely hero to turn their fortunes around.