Dhoni back at venue of cricketing birth

As a gawky youngster and sporting shoulder-length tresses, the little-known wicket-keeper from Jharkhand set the YSR cricket stadium afire with his blistering strokeplay against the unsuspecting Pakistani bowlers. As the cliché goes, Dhoni has never looked back after that.      

Five years after he blazed his way to a 123-ball 148, Dhoni returns to the venue as a totally transformed cricketer. His looks have changed and he has firmly entrenched himself as the captain of the side in all three formats of the game. A romantic would have painted a nice picture of his links with the stadium where the seeds of his astonishing growth were sown, but all Dhoni could come up was, “I have improved a lot as a player in the last five-six years and similarly, the stadium has also improved. Every time you come here, there is something new and something special.”

But then that is Dhoni for you, uncut and unabashed but extremely effective with his unorthodox ways. Having failed to fetch any significant score in his first four matches, Dhoni’s career could have gone in any direction had he not come up with that knock against Pakistan.

“I have happy memories from here, from the first game that I have played over here, but to be on top and to do well, you have to be well prepared for everything that comes your way,” he remarked. Indeed, the right-hander has shown that he has been always well-prepared to face everything that he has come across, right from cementing his place in the side to developing as a true leader of men.   

Coming back to the present, Dhoni said it was also important not to remain caught up in the past. “That time was different, this is a different tournament and in every tournament, you have to start from scratch. It’s not about the past, it’s not about the future. It’s all about what you are doing in the present.

“All of us are focused on the three-match series which has become a two-match series. I am hoping that in tomorrow’s game, there is someone who will play a special innings or a bowler who will perform well and that is what we are expecting,” he signed off.

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