Dhoni visits Ranchi temple ahead of Australian tour

Ranchi: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni visited the famous Deori Temple near Ranchi to invoke the Goddess Deori`s blessings for the tour Down Under.

Dhoni is known to be an ardent devotee of the goddess from his earliest days in cricket, before finding fame and fortune.

He performed an elaborate `puja` at the temple with due ceremony.

"Whenever Mahi visits Ranchi, he comes to the temple to seek the Divine Mother`s blessings. He came this time as well, and worshipped the goddess with all the stipulated rituals. He also prayed for success in the upcoming tour of Australia. His desires will surely come to fruition," said Manoj Pandey, the temple priest.

Dhoni was mobbed by enthusiastic fans and a police escort was needed to ensure he was able to make a smooth entry and exit from the temple complex.

India are set to play Australia in four Test matches, two Twenty20 Internationals and a triangular one-day international series featuring Sri Lanka.

On Wednesday, seven players including batting maestros Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman left for Australia to acclimatise to conditions before the series gets underway.

Bureau Report

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