April 5, 2020 marks the fifteenth anniversary of MS Dhoni's first international century. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who would go on to become one of India's greatest captains, announced himself in style as he slammed 148 against Pakistan at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam.
MS Dhoni, who came in to bat at number three, wreaked havoc on the Pakistan bowlers, adding 96 runs with Virender Sehwag after Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed cheaply.
After Sehwag's dismissal, Dhoni, alongside Rahul Dravid, formed a 149-run stand. The flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman smashed 15 fours and four sixes in his innings, taking 123 balls to score 148 runs.
His knock aided India to a strong total of 356/9 in 50 overs. The hosts, then, defended the total after bundling Pakistan for 298.
Ashish Nehra, who took four wickets in the innings, recalled Dhoni's brilliant innings earlier this week. He said that it felt like Dhoni had tasted blood.
"Unwavering self-confidence is Dhoni's strength. That innings was like he had tasted blood and he yearned for more. He hardly ever batted at No. 3 after that innings but he had made a statement that day. We lost all the remaining four matches in that series but we discovered Dhoni," Nehra said in an interview.
A little more than two years later, MS Dhoni was named the captain of the national team ahead of the inaugural T20 World Cup, and guided the side to a terrific victory in the final against Pakistan.
In his career, he would also go on to lift the 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy as a captain - the only one to win all the three ICC trophies to date.
Dhoni last played for India in the semifinal of the 2019 World Cup, after which he took a sabbatical from international cricket. He was slated for a return to professional cricket with the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, where he leads Chennai Super Kings.
However, the IPL is currently suspended till April 15 due to the deadly outbreak of coronavirus.