MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings play Kolkata Knight Riders at Ranchi on May 2 in IPL 2014 © IANS
As Chennai Super Kings (CSK) take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Ranchi, one expects a high-voltage contest. It is also the home ground of the Indian captain MS Dhoni. So, one can expect the raucous crowd to go into a frenzy. Bharath Ramaraj looks at what it means for the Ranchi crowd when Dhoni plays in front of their very eyes.
With the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-leg of the star-studded, glitzy and glamorous world of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 over, it is time for the Indian fans to savour the thrills and spills of the action packed tournament. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) setup led by India’s redoubtable captain, MS Dhoni will lock horns against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Ranchi on May 2. Actually, when India’s favourite son Dhoni will lead his side against Kolkata at his home ground at Ranchi, it is hard to envisage the kind of frenzied support that he may get from the adoring crowd.
Just think of a man who has bewitched and bedazzled millions of fans across the globe and has charted his way to success playing at his home ground. It means a lot to people to see Dhoni play in front of their very eyes. It has to be remembered that in India there is only religion and that is cricket. A cricketer is showered with accolades and his deeds fill columns in the papers — flowing with thunderous applause. They are virtually worshipped by a billion people. And then you think of Dhoni, who has been showered with encomiums for his string of sensational gilt-edged performances, and the ability to lead his side with undiluted perseverance and calm countenance playing in front of his home crowd.
In fact, if we jog our memory back to 2013, when India played their first ever One-Day International (ODI) at Ranchi against England under Dhoni’s captaincy, a huge crowd gathered outside the airport just to watch a glimpse of their hero. The police had to even use a bit of lathicharge to keep the raucous crowd at bay outside the team’s hotel. Plenty of fans gathered to watch the Indian team and in particular, Dhoni practice in the nets as well. One of the frenzied fans then opined about watching Dhoni practice in the nets, “We have not been lucky enough to find a ticket for the match. This is the closest we will come.”
Even during the Champions League T20 games played at Ranchi in 2013, the crowd went into a tizzy when Dhoni with his power-packed game reduced Sunrisers Hyderabad’s (SRH’s) field placements into a state of lottery and accrued a thrill-a-minute innings of 63. It won’t surprise anyone if fans make a beeline entry to get inside the jam-packed stadium for CSK’s game against KKR in IPL 2014. Unfortunately, only a few will get the chance to witness the great man in action and fulfil their fabled dreams. Finally, all his fans will hope that Dhoni’s batting will be glittered in gold in the game against KKR and his team will script a memorable win.
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(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)