India vs Australia 3rd ODI Ranchi: If we have to pick one active cricketer present in the country, who is worshipped even more loudly and widely than Virat Kohli around the globe, it has to be none other than the ‘legendary’ MS Dhoni. Dhoni, who is solely responsible to put Ranchi on the map of India and around the world is once again in the news and has become a center of attention ahead of the third ODI between India and Australia.
In what can be assumed as Dhoni’s last international outing in hometown Ranchi, the occasion cannot become bigger than this as the former India skipper takes a guard in the center on Friday. While making the leap from ticket inspector to international captain, Dhoni has returned to where it all started around two decades back.
The local Ranchi people don’t really break a sweat while discussing stories about his beloved son. They swell with even more pride over the fact that the 37-year old superstar has never left despite a net worth estimated at $US111 million, a motorbike and car collection worthy of a museum and a seven-acre farmhouse that took three years to construct.
Before the match, Dhoni has politely declined an invitation from the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) to attend a ceremony for the inauguration of the ‘MS Dhoni Pavilion’. The stand is the latest honour bestowed upon the icon who helped turn India into the on-field powerhouse. BCCI has also shared a couple of video capsules which try to capture the enigma and madness around ‘local boy’ Dhoni ahead of the third encounter of the five-ODI rubber versus Australia.
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Dhoni’s final homecoming forms a poignant subplot of an utterly dominant Indian team’s quest for an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series. A 3-0 lead in the five-match series will be a perfect parting gift for Ranchi’s favourite son, who, in all likelihood, will be seen wearing the India Blues for the last time at his home ground.
There has been a sense of dj vu every time Dhoni has stepped on to the field in the ongoing series. It reminded many of Tendulkar’s penultimate Test series against Australia in 2013, when the cheer from the stands would amplify with each passing match.
Something similar has been happening at every ground in this series, with the fans possibly beginning to realise that the legend may not be around when India next play at home.