It is widely believed that former India skipper MS Dhoni was the first cricketer to play the helicopter shot. Well, that is not the case. It was another ex-India captain, Mohammad Azharuddin, who played the signature Dhoni shot for the first time – but it went unnoticed at that point in time.

Azharuddin played that shot for the first time against South Africa in the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Azharuddin was on a roll at the Gardens and he played the special shot against Lance Klusener. In that over from Klusener, Azharuddin smashes him for five boundaries as he brought up a century. He scored a breathtaking 109 off 77 balls.

Here is the video where Azhar takes on Klusener:

But, the world credits Dhoni for inventing the shot which is now played by a number of cricketers across the world to counter the yorker delivery. It is a special shot that can help the batsman during the backend of the innings when the bowlers are eyeing the blockhole.

It surely is not an easy shot to play as you need strong wrists to play it. Azharuddin was known to be a wristy player with strong hands and he did it on a number of occasions.

Azhar was considered to be a prolific batsman in his prime apart from being a brilliant captain for the country. After making his debut for India in an ODI in England in 1985, Azhar went on to lead the country in 221 matches across formats.

He featured in 99 Tests and 334 ODIs, amassing 6215, and 9378 runs in the two formats respectively including 29 centuries and 79 half-centuries across formats.