Fans running onto the pitch to hug MS Dhoni or touch his feet is nothing new. When such an incident happened in Nagpur during India’s second ODI against Australia, Dhoni himself decided to make them work for it. The former Indian captain was walking out with the rest of the team for Australia’s chase in Nagpur when a man, wearing white shirt that had the no. 7 and ‘Thala’ written at the back, ran towards him.
— Srinivas (@cnusantu) 6 March 2019
Dhoni first hid behind Rohit Sharma before running all the way to the pitch, meandering between his teammates with the fan in tow. He finally stopped at the striker’s end and gave the man a hug. The fan was then escorted off the pitch.
In February, during the third T20I between India and New Zealand, Dhoni won hearts when a fan holding the Indian flag came to touch his feet. While doing so, the flag briefly brushed the ground and Dhoni quickly took the flag away from the man before interacting with him.
MS Dhoni, who led India to victories in the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup, is one of the biggest names in cricket in the country. The 37-year-old is in the twilight of his career and it is widely speculated that he may hang up his boots after the 2019 World Cup.
But he remains a vital cog in Virat Kohli’s dressing room with the current Indian captain stating numerous times the importance of Dhoni’s vast experience. Players like Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have all stated that Dhoni’s influence is one of the main reasons behind their success over the past two years.