MS Dhoni was in the stands during India vs New Zealand 1st T20I which was being played in his hometown Ranchi.
“Dhoni…Dhoni” chants were such a common thing at a cricket stadium when the former India captain was playing international cricket. However, after MS Dhoni bid adieu to the game, he has hardly visited any ground to watch India play. But Friday was different. India were playing New Zealand at his home – Ranchi. The legendary cricketer didn’t miss an opportunity to be close to the action. He was spotted in the gallery during India’s opening T20 International. No doubt, Indian fans went crazy watching Captain Cool after ages and welcomed him with the iconic ‘Dhoni’ chants. Dhoni responded with a wide smile on his face only to make the noise louder
MSD + Ranchi = 🤩
When the Ranchi crowd welcomed the legendary @msdhoni in style 😃👌#TeamIndia | #INDvNZ | @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/40FoEDudSv
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 27, 2023
When India and New Zealand were engaged in action, the broadcasting camera focused on Dhoni sitting with his wife Sakshi in the VIP gallery. As soon as fans noticed him on the giant screen, the excitement was unparalleled. The crowd went on to celebrate his presence when the camera was panning through the MS Dhoni Pavilion – the special stand which has been named after India’s World Cup-winning captain. The loud cheer grabbed the attention of Dhoni who yet again waved at the camera with his priceless smile. The golden atmosphere was enough to take anyone back to the Dhoni era.
Ahead of the first T20I, Dhoni met the Indian unit and gave the youngsters with his valuable advice during their training session. He shook hands with each of them and spent some fun time with Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar. BCCI shared a clip of the meeting on their official Twitter.
Look who came visiting at training today in Ranchi – the great @msdhoni! 😊#TeamIndia | #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/antqqYisOh
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 26, 2023
However, following a 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series, the Indian unit failed to continue their winning momentum and endured a 21-run defeat in the T20I series opener. Batting first, New Zealand produced a more-than-decent total of 176 runs in 20 overs, thanks to stunning half-centuries from Devon Conway (52 off 35) and Daryl Mitchell (59 off 30).
India vs New Zealand: 1st T20I talking points
In reply, India’s top order could not take advantage of what could be called a batting-friendly surface. They lost half of their batters in just 89 runs. Though Suryakumar Yadav (47 off 34) and Washington Sundar (50 off 28) tried to bring the hosts back into the game, they fell short of support from other batters. Only four batters among the Hardik Pandya-led side managed to cross the two-digit mark.
India vs New Zealand: All stats from 1st T20I
India will aim to turn the table around and level the series when they take the field for the second T20I on Sunday at the Ekana Sports City in Lucknow.
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