MS Dhoni at the nets in Ranchi: Pray, pitch, play

When Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the nets in his hometown Ranchi this week, there was a buzz surrounding his return to practice.

Dhoni inaugurating the new practice pitches at JSCA.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

When Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the nets in his hometown Ranchi this week, there was a buzz surrounding his return to practice.

Incidentally, some even kept count of how long he had been away from the practice pitches at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium.   

"Dhoni has come to practise here after 128 days. He also inaugurated a red clay pitch here by breaking a coconut," said a person closely associated with Jharkhand cricket.

Dhoni having a hit at the JSCA nets.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The veteran keeper-batsman remains unavailable for the home series against the West Indies beginning with the T20Is from December 6. His nets session on Thursday triggered talk of his return. Dhoni has not played a competitive game since the World Cup semifinal against New Zealand in July.

Incidentally, the red clay practice pitches at the JSCA Stadium have been laid out on Dhoni’s advice. The state association has experimented with various types of tracks at the complex. JSCA curator S.B. Singh and his colleagues have laid down 11 pitches of seven varieties on the smaller practice ground inside the stadium complex.

Dhoni hit the nets at JSCA after a long time.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT