For the longest time in cricketing history, the full ball or the yorker was a difficult thing for the batsmen to hit out of the park, or even for a four. Add to that if the ball is bowled at a rapid pace, it becomes difficult for a batsman to get under the ball. This is the reason why when Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulled out the Helicopter Shot during the early stages of his career, fans knew there was something special about this cricketer.
With time it became synonymous with the persona of the former Indian captain. It is actually a very difficult shot to execute. You need brilliant hand-eye coordination, great back-hand power, and the ability to predict the length of the ball. Many have tried to play this shot, some have succeeded, but there is no denying that Dhoni’s shot is the OG.
However, it may come as a surprise to many fans that much before Dhoni played this shot and made it famous, there was another Indian captain who played a similar kind of shot. His name is Mohammad Azharuddin. The Hyderabad-based former cricketer is regarded as one of the finest captains India has seen and his batting has been praised across the globe.
Watch Mohammad Azharuddin’s helicopter shot
An old video of Azharuddin’s batting has surfaced on Twitter which shows the batsman playing a shot that has a lot of resemblance with how Dhoni plays his helicopter shot. The shot was played by Azhar during a 1996 Test match against South Africa at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. He played a gem of a knock of 109 runs from 77 balls, with 18 fours and a six.
Lance Klusener, the former South African all-rounder, was making his Test debut. At the time, he primarily played as a bowler and was hammered by Azharuddin during his knock. The batsman hit him for five fours in an over. During that over, after getting smashed for two fours, Klusener went for a yorker.
Classic Azhar pic.twitter.com/DeRJjfQlzl
— Stone Cold (@StoneCo06301258) May 15, 2021
Azharuddin might have anticipated the length and was deep in his crease. He moved his right leg slightly towards the leg stump which allowed him to play the shot towards the midwicket region. The hammering was taken well by the all-rounder, who came back to take Azharuddin’s wicket in the second innings. He ended taking 8 for 64 in the second innings on his debut after ending with figures of 0 for 75 in 14 overs in the first innings.
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Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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