As MS Dhoni walked out to bat, the Chennai crowd erupted with joy, cheering for their Thala, letting him know their admiration and support for him. The former Indian skipper had played his last ODI in Chennai two years back and was the captain of Chennai Super Kings for an eight long years.
MS Dhoni has always shared an indescribable bond with Chennai, thanks to his association with Chennai Super Kings since its inception. Since joining the franchise in 2008, Dhoni was adopted overnight as a son of the soil. 'Thala', as he would be remembered, evoked a level of fanaticism that had hitherto been reserved for only the likes of MGR and Rajnikanth, both interestingly not from Tamil Nadu. And with the "Thala" back in the city, the Chennai fans didn't leave a stone unturned to give a rousing welcome to their favourite hero.
Today, against Australia, Dhoni was welcomed through a rousing ovation from the fans at Chepauk after India found themselves in a spot of bother losing the top order in a heap. Dhoni is regarded as the undisputed king in this region because of his heroics with both the Indian national team and also with his former Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings. He didn’t disappoint his fans, albeit after a slow start to his innings. He played the second fiddle to the hard-hitting Hardik Pandya for quite a while but came into his own to take India from a precarious position to a commendable one.
His innings today has not only helped India post a commendable total, it also remained a special one for him as he hit his 100th international fifty. This was Dhoni’s 66th ODI fifty to go along with his 33 half-centuries in Test cricket and one 50+ score in the T20 format.
BCCI (@BCCI) September 17, 2017