Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni shares a special relationship with Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. During his illustrious international career, Dhoni’s highest-ever ODI score of 183 not out came at this very venue, some 18 years back in 2005.
It was Dhoni’s 22nd ODI match and just his second ODI century. An incredible innings which was studded with 10 sixes and 15 fours, came off just 145 and remained Dhoni’s career-best knock in this format. The 183 not out stamped Dhoni’s class in international cricket and from them he never looked back in his career.
Thursday’s visit to the same venue didn’t turn out to be a happy one for Dhoni as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) suffered a 32-run loss to Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals in an IPL 2023 match. However, Dhoni acknowledged the importance of this venue to him in the post-match press presentation.
“This is a very special venue, my first ODI hundred in Vizag gave me 10 games but the 183 I made here gave me another one year. It was great to be back here,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation.
WATCH MS Dhoni speak about the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur HERE…
Why does the Sawai Mansingh Stadium remain special for @msdhoni? _
Dhoni ended his ODI career with 10,773 runs from 350 games at an average of over 50 with 10 hundreds and 73 fifties to his name and a strike-rate of 87.56. Now, at 41 years of age, Dhoni might well be playing his final game at this venue.
The CSK skipper praised his bowlers for restricting the Royals batters in the middle of their innings. “Bowlers bowled well in the middle overs but a lot of edges went for boundaries, at least 5-6 went for them and that had made an impact. They had par-plus and we couldn’t get a good start in the power play with the bat,” Dhoni said.
There was special praise reserved for Royals youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Dhruv Jurel. Jaiswal top-scored with 77 while Jurel chipped in with 15-ball 34 towards the end of the innings.
“Yashasvi batted really well, was important to go after the bowlers and it was important to take calculated risks. We had to assess what a good length is, as captain you tell them but initially we have away a few boundaries and after that you’re always playing catch up. In the end of the innings, Jurel batted well but I think it’s the first six where it got away from us,” Dhoni said.