New Delhi, Dec 31: India's limited overs' skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who happens to be the unofficial mentor to the Jharkhand cricket team, is set to watch his state side take on Gujarat in its first ever Ranji Trophy semifinal beginning in Nagpur on Sunday (Jan 1).
MS Dhoni instrumental in Jharkhand's success in Ranji Trophy
MS Dhoni, has been a part of the Jharkhand side during this domestic season, though he doesn't play any game for the state as he no longer plays in the longer format of the game, ever since retiring from Tests.
But he often practices with the players during the domestic First-Class season.
Dhoni has been instrumental in his state team's success in the ongoing Ranji season. His presence in Jharkhand's dressing room and his vital suggestions to the teammates has helped the side so far.
"He should be there in Nagpur in all probability. He wants to be there. Interactions with him has always been helpful for the boys," a source close to the team management told PTI.
But with the Indian team for the home ODI and T20 series against England expected to be picked in the first week of January, Dhoni might not be in Nagpur for the entire duration of the game.
The India limited-overs captain has taken out time for his state team when he is not on national duty. It is rare for the national team captain to train with his domestic team but Dhoni has done so frequently.
He dropped in at the nets ahead of Jharkhand's Ranji Trophy opener against Maharashtra at the Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi in October.
The 35-year-old was also part of the pre-season camp held at the international cricket stadium in Ranchi. He spent time with the team in Chennai too in August on the sidelines of Buchi Babu Invitational Tournament.
Besides providing a morale boost to the players, Dhoni will get crucial net sessions under his belt ahead of international assignments. It has been all the more helpful this season with India having a Test-heavy season at home.
With the Vijay Hazare Trophy only starting on February 25, Dhoni won't get a competitive game before the England series starting on January 15.
The Indian skipper is likely to play with India A during practice matches against England.