M S Dhoni
He is swashbuckling with the bat and secure with the gloves. His dazzling 148 against Pakistan even put Sehwag in the shade for a while.india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 16:21 IST
The spectacular arrival of Virender Sehwag was bound to inspire others to bat with the same mindset. But the odds of a clone emerging from the backwaters of Jharkhand, whose state side has consistently scraped the bottom, was highly remote.
That was until Mahendra Singh Dhoni arrived. He can be swashbuckling with the bat and secure with the wicketkeeping gloves. His neck-length hair adds to his dash. Though Dhoni made his first-class debut in the 1999-2000 season, it was only in 2004 that he became a serious contender for national selection with some stirring performances when the occasion demanded - a rapid hundred which helped East Zone clinch the Deodhar Trophy and an audacious 60 in the Duleep Trophy final.
But it was with his two centuries against Pakistan A, in the triangular tournament in Kenya, that he established himself as a clinical destroyer of bowling attacks. In just his fifth one-dayer, against Pakistan at Vishakapatnam, he cracked a dazzling 148 and for a while even put Sehwag in the shade.