If you make a list of India’s five greatest white ball cricketers of all time, both Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni would get into that list.
Tendulkar and Dhoni are two completely different types of cricketers. While Tendulkar batted at the top of the order in white-ball cricket or at no. 4 in Test matches for a major part of his career, Dhoni batted in the lower middle order in all formats of the game for almost the whole of his career.
They had different styles as well. Tendulkar was very stylish, orthodox and skillful, while Dhoni had a technique of his own which was definitely not pleasing to the eyes, but was very effective.
While Tendulkar and Dhoni are different in many ways, they have had some interesting coincidences in their careers. Here are 3 of them:
#1 Duck on ODI debut:
Tendulkar played his first One Day International match for India in 1989 against Pakistan, while Dhoni made his ODI debut 15 years later in 2004 against Bangladesh, however, co-incidentally none of them was able to open his account playing for the first time for India in ODIs.
Dhoni was particularly unlucky as he got run out on the very first ball he faced in the game.
#2 T20I debut
Both Tendulkar and Dhoni made their T20I debut in the same match against South Africa in 2006. It was actually the first T20 match that the Indian cricket team ever played at the international level.
Virender Sehwag captained India in that game and opened the batting with Tendulkar. While Tendulkar scored 10 runs on his T20I debut, Dhoni scored a duck and was cleaned up by Charl Langeveldt.
#3 7000 ODI runs
Tendulkar and Dhoni are amongst nine Indian batsmen who have scored 7000 runs or more for India in One Day Internationals and co-incidentally both of them took the same no. of innings to complete their 7000 ODI runs.
Tendulkar took 189 innings to get past the tally of 7000 runs in 50-over cricket. Dhoni also reached the milestone in his 189th innings.