'When I got out, Raina told me 'Both Dhoni and I got out for ducks'' | Crickit
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'When I got out, Raina told me 'Both Dhoni and I got out for ducks'': Star India opener's forgettable debut

Mar 26, 2023 05:57 PM IST

A veteran India batter had aimed for the same, back in his India debut in 2010, but returned with a forgettable score of zero that left him thinking about his next opportunity, But it was a stunning advice from Suresh Raina that lifted his spirit yet again.

Every human, irrespective of the profession, wants that perfect start on the first day of office. In cricket, if you are a batter, you want to score a hundred. In ODIs, none has ever managed to do that donning the Indian jersey before KL Rahul joined the elusive club, of 16 batters now, in 2016. A veteran India batter had aimed for the same, back in his India debut in 2010, but returned with a forgettable score of zero that left him thinking about his next opportunity, But it was a stunning advice from Suresh Raina that lifted his spirit yet again.

Suresh Raina with MS Dhoni
Suresh Raina with MS Dhoni

It was September of 2010. India were up against Australia in the second ODI match at home, in Visakhapatnam. Shikhar Dhawan, who was slated to make his debut in the series opener, but the match was abandoned due to rain. Dhawan got his opportunity in the second game. However, while most young cricketers, while he thought of returning to the pavilion with a triple-figure score, he was back in the very second ball of the innings, bowled for duck by Clint McKay.

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Speaking to Aaj Tak, Dhawan recalled smiling at his misfortune when he was on his way to the pavilion.

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“It is always a dream to play for India as a young cricketer. And I couldn't sleep at all that night. I woke up in the morning and saw it was raining and later the match was called off. In the second match, it was in city of destiny which is Visakhapatnam. I made my debut. We fielded first and I was stationed at slip, then mid-off and probably everywhere. When my batting came, I was bowled in the second over itself. I was smiling on my way back to the pavilion thinking 'I thought of scoring a 100 and ended up with 0'. ”

The veteran India opener then added that he was stopped by Raina in the dressing room who told him that both he and MS Dhoni were dismissed for a duck on their debut, adding that cricketers with such starts tend to have better careers. Dhawan revealed that he was smiling again, but was also worried about his next chance in the Indian team which still had the likes of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in their prime.

“Suresh Raina was there in the pavilion. He was a senior player then. He told me, 'Even I was dismissed for zero. MS Dhoni was also dismissed for zero. It is a lucky zero.' Then I started smiling again. But then I kept thinking when will I get my next opportunity because back in those days Sehwag and Gambhir were in their prime,” he said.

After the tour of West Indies in June 2011, Dhawan was dropped from ODIs before he made a stunning comeback in 2013 with back-to-back tons in ICC Champions Trophy and thereon remained a mainstay opener for the team in limited-overs cricket.

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