Indian limited overs captain MS Dhoni was seen practising with the Jharkhand domestic players at the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi today. Although he made it clear that he will not play the Ranji Trophy, he turned up to have some match practice and motivate the younger players.
Watching Mahendra Singh Dhoni practising with his Ranji Trophy team Jharkhand is a pretty rare sight. The last time Dhoni played a Ranji game was in the 2004-05 season against Haryana. However, just days before Jharkhand’s opener against Maharashtra, Dhoni turned up for practice at the stadium with a kitbag hanging on his shoulder.
After exchanging pleasantries with the coach and the players, Dhoni played some football with the team and practised in the nets for some time. But he denied any chances of him playing in the matches.
He said, “I won’t be playing this Ranji Trophy game but will be around with the boys. I don’t want to take the place of a youngster who will benefit by playing here,” reported The Indian Express.
Dhoni bowled medium pace for around 20 minutes before getting padded up for some batting practice. He talked to the younger lot of the team about various things and also gave a pre-season talk to the team.
“He spoke about how it is important to build partnerships while batting and also about bowling as a unit. He also gave the boys confidence by talking about how the standard of cricket in the state had improved over the years. His messages are simple but when it comes from someone of his stature, it means a lot. By spending time with the players, Dhoni has boosted the morale of the side,” coach Rajiv Kumar said.
Speaking about post-retirement life, the Indian legend said, “I was never a great believer in going to the gym because I was playing regularly (all three formats) and I preferred to give my body rest. When you are playing right through the year, it is difficult at times to maintain a proper diet and find time or energy for the gym. But after retiring from Tests, I have started going to the gym regularly and am able to watch my diet, and it has helped me. I have lost an additional 4 percent of body fat, which is good. Nowadays, as I am not playing all three formats, I am able to plan my off-season much better.”
The session may not go on to help Dhoni much, but the time he spent with his