New Delhi: MS Dhoni, with his wife Sakshi, was in the stadium to watch the opening T20I encounter between India and New Zealand in his hometown Ranchi. Fans were delighted to see ‘Thala’ on the big screen while the Blackcap all-rounder Jimmy Neesham had an unexpected and quirky take on the same.

In a post-match show on Star Sports, Neesham was asked about Dhoni’s popularity, which continued even after two years of his international retirement. The Kiwi all-rounder replied that it is a ‘great feeling’ as one can ‘fly under the radar’. He added that at that moment, no one was really there to watch New Zealand play while everyone was there to watch someone else. He said that he had enjoyed that feeling as the pressure is on someone else.

ms dhoni

The former Indian captain was there to watch the game and when cameras turned towards him, the cricketer waved his hand to the crowd. The Ranchi crowd cheered for Dhoni and the noise just went up when he waved.

MS Dhoni also met the Indian team during their practice sessions before the game and BCCI did not forget to capture that special moment.

In the game, New Zealand scored 176 runs, courtesy of Daryl Mitchell’s 59* off 30 and Devon Conaway’s 52 off 35. Washington Sundar tried to change the course of the game with two initial wickets in an over but the Blackcaps ended well to reach a good enough score. Mitchell hitting Arshdeep Singh for 27 runs in the last over completely shifted the momentum towards the visitors.

daryl mitchell fifty vs ind

While chasing the total, India lost three early wickets when Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya tried to reconcile. Ish Sodhi got Surya off a googly for 47 off 34 and it was Sundar who fought a lone battle. Washington, who had a day to remember in all three departments, scored 50 off 28 but could not take his team to victory. After an ODI whitewash, the visitors began the T20I series with a 21-run win.