Watch: Crowd chants ‘Dhoni’ ‘Dhoni’ as MSD makes his presence felt in IND’s 1st T20I against NZ

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was present at Ranchi’s JSCA International Stadium for India’s 1st T20I against New Zealand on Friday. As the camera cut to him, the Indian icon, sitting alongside his wife Sakshi, waved as the familiar chants of “Dhoni” “Dhoni” filled the air.

On Thursday, Dhoni had paid the Hardik Pandya-led host side a special visit at the JSCA stadium. In a video uploaded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on their social media handles, Dhoni, sipping coconut water, is seen having a conversation with Pandya and co. in the team dressing room during one of their pre-match training sessions.

Apart from players, the 41-year-old also met the team staff including the India fielding coach T Dilip. Earlier on Thursday, Pandya had posted a photo alongside the Chennai Super Kings captain at his residence in the Jharkhand capital. “Sholay 2 coming soon,” read the caption along with a winking emoji and a photo of the duo posing while sitting on one of Dhoni’s vintage bikes.

In Friday’s match, Put in to bat, New Zealand posted a challenging 176 for six against India. Opener Devon Conway made a 35-ball 52, while Daryl Mitchell smashed a 30-ball unbeaten 59. For India, Washington Sundar (2/22) scalped two wickets, while Kuldeep Yadav (1/20), Shivam Mavi (1/19 in 2 overs) and Arshdeep Singh (1/51) accounted for one wicket each.

Arshdeep conceded 27 runs in the last over, with Mitchell clobbering him for three sixes and a four.

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