This post was last updated on February 2nd, 2023 at 02:08 pm
Senior New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham was a massive fan of the legendary MS Dhoni despite his retirement from international cricket years ago. Dhoni was the special guest for the first T20 match between India and the Kiwis at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday, 27 January.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was invited for the occasion along with his wife Sakshi and as the cameras zoomed in on him, Dhoni waved his thanks to the emotional crowd, who gave a rousing welcome to their hometown hero from the stands. The 2011 World Cup-winning captain had also interacted with the Indian team players a day before the tournament.
It’s a really great feeling: Jimmy Neesham
“It’s actually a great feeling. You feel in a way, you can fly under the radar. No one is really there to watch you bat or bowl. Everyone is there to see your ability. To be honest, I’ve always enjoyed it. India know the pressure will be on someone else,” Neesham said during the post-match show on Star Sports.
Unfortunately for Dhoni and India, the players could not live up to the expectations on that particular night as they lost by 21 runs. Despite chasing the target of 177 runs, Indian batsmen could not perform with the bat.
The Indian bowlers who kept things tight throughout the duration of the first innings lost the plot in the 20th over which also proved to be the turning point of the contest as the Blackcaps posted a competitive total of 176/6.
Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh bowled the final over of 27 runs, hitting three consecutive sixes including a front foot no-ball. Top-order T20I batsman Suryakumar Yadav (47) and Washington Sundar’s 28-ball 50 ignited Indian hopes to some extent. However, his knock went in vain as there was no support from the other end.