MS Dhoni fillip for Jharkhand in Ranji semis against Gujarat

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MS Dhoni fillip for Jharkhand in Ranji semis against Gujarat

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SportsCafe Desk

12/31/2016

India’s limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is expected to be present in Nagpur when his home state Jharkhand take on Gujarat in the five-day semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy starting on Sunday (Jan 1). Dhoni has been mentoring his state side, albeit, unofficially.

“He should be there in Nagpur in all probability. He wants to be there. Interactions with him, has always been helpful for the boys,” an unnamed source close to the team management told PTI news agency.

Dhoni, 35, retired from Test cricket two years ago, and has been spending time with his state’s young Ranji side this season. Jharkhand cricketers like former India under-19 skipper Ishan Kishan and Virat Singh have spoken about Dhoni’s influence in inspiring the side to reach the Ranji Trophy semi-finals for the first time.

Dhoni was a part of the pre-season camp held at the JSCA international cricket stadium in Ranchi, and was present during Jharkhand’s Ranji Trophy opener against Maharashtra at the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi in October.

It is unlikely, however, that Dhoni would be present at Jamtha for the whole duration of the semi-finals, considering that the limited-overs series against England is scheduled to start on Jan 15 and Dhoni has expressed his desire to play in warm-up matches against the visitors for Board President’s XI at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Jan 10 and 12.

Meanwhile, defending champions Mumbai will lock horns with Tamil Nadu in the other semi-finals in Rajkot on the same dates.

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