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It's celebration time for Jharkhand

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's elevation to captaincy of India's one-day team was greeted with beating of drums, bursting of crackers and smearing of 'gulal' in his home town.

cricket Updated: Sep 18, 2007 19:47 IST

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's elevation to captaincy of India's one-day team was greeted with beating of drums, bursting of crackers and smearing of 'gulal' in his home town.

"Let us all enjoy and cherish the moment of glory," Chanchal Bhattacharya, one of Dhoni's childhood coaches, said as residents of Ranchi celebrated in the streets.

Another coach, who guided the wicketkeeper-batsman in his formative years, also could not hide his joy.

"I am very happy. I feel like my own son has been appointed as one-day captain of Team India," said KR Banerjee.

Former cricketer Randhir Singh hailed the selection committee's verdict saying "this momentous decision will turn out to be beneficial for Indian cricket in the days to come ...Dhoni reads the game very well," Singh told PTI.

A total of 2,477 runs in 84 one-dayers averaging 44.23 and a cool temperament while leading the country against Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup tilted the balance Dhoni's way, felt Kajal Das, a former Ranji player who is presently a member of the junior selection committee.

Unlike many other players, he said, Dhoni found place in the team for both versions of the game on a regular basis and "it is only a matter of time before he gets the Test leadership as well."

"My best wishes to Dhoni. He will prove his mettle by downing Australia in the forthcoming one-dayers," Koda said even as the Chief Minister celebrated his one year in office on Tuesday.

Ramesh Saxena, who played just one Test in his career, said, "Dhoni is a Test captain in waiting."

Another former Bihar captain and off-spinner KVP Rao said Dhoni's appointment was made keeping in mind the future of Indian cricket.

"In a short span of three years, Dhoni has risen to great heights. The leadership qualities and his cool temperament can ultimately give him the chance to lead the Indian Test team," Rao observed.

For Dhoni's friend Ajay Kumar, his elevation seemed straight out of a fairy tale.

"Jharkhand is just a small state. Nobody thought that Dhoni would put the new state in the cricketing map...I am thrilled.

"I still remember Dhoni's words. Once I made fun of his long hair when he was still an obscure entity. Dhoni said, 'Wait and watch, these locks will one day bring me luck,'" Kumar said.

The happiest cricket fans, however, were the children who shouted 'chuk-de Dhoni' near the cricketer's residence.

It's celebration time for Jharkhand after Dhoni's elevation.