India v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam April 5, 2005

Front-foot king

On the ball with S Rajesh and Arun Gopalakrishnan
  shares

Virender Sehwag used to be the biggest headache for opposition new-ball bowlers playing against India; now, it seems, he has company. Mahendra Singh Dhoni set the stands afire in the 96-run stand with Sehwag, and then even after his dismissal. Bob Woolmer and Pakistan's bowlers would do well to look at the graphic below and pick up a hint or two on how to bowl to him: off eight full deliveries, Dhoni hit up 26; 58 good-length ones vanished for 74; however, only 48 came off 57 short balls. The lesson - on these flat tracks which offer no sideways movement, it's easy to hit through the line of the ball, and Dhoni was particularly adept at this, scoring 73 off 60 on the front foot and 37 from 44 on the back foot. Going by today's performance, Pakistan's bowlers would probably be better off bowling fractionally short to him.

Thanks to Sehwag and Dhoni, and the late charge by India's tail, there were 13 overs in the innings which fetched ten or more runs (shown in red in the graphic below) - there were six in the first 11 overs and five in the last 11, which went for 94. Though there were some quiet overs towards the end, Zaheer Khan and Lakshmipathy Balaji ensured that India topped 350 and recorded their third-highest one-day score.