India’s much-anticipated campaign at the cricket World Cup 2019 came to an abrupt end on Wednesday as they were stunned by New Zealand by 18 runs in the semi-final at Old Trafford in Manchester. Virat Kohli’s men had a poor start to their chase of 240 to make the final. Despite valiant efforts from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni who put up 116 runs for the seventh wicket, India were folded for 221 to lose by 18 runs.
While the image of a crestfallen Dhoni took Indians back by 23 years when Vinod Kambli had a similar heartbreak in yet another semi-final that India had lost, the question about Dhoni’s future has gained prominence after a temporary emotional burst out of the fans.
No clarity over MS Dhoni’s future yet
With Dhoni not having made his mind clear yet, it could now be the selectors’ call on how to treat the man from hereon. Irrespective of efforts in the last match, Dhoni’s batting has remained a concern and in a number of games, he came under criticism from the same fans who were left emotionally choked after that Old Trafford run-out.
India will next tour the West Indies for three T20Is, as many ODIs and two Tests starting August and it is to be seen whether the selectors will pick the Ranchi cricketer’s name for the limited-over matches. The national selection committee will meet on July 17 or 18 in Mumbai to pick the respective squads for the West Indies limited-overs series and Tests. According to a report in Times of India, sources who have an idea about the inside proceedings said: “Dhoni will not go to the West Indies”.
Dhoni was dropped for the T20I series against Australia and the West Indies last year. It was said that since Dhoni will not be in the scheme of things for the 2020 World T20, so new alternatives were being tried. One would not be surprised if the same stance is taken this time as well. Dhoni had his share of criticism during the World Cup for his slow approach with the bat in the dying overs that had disrupted India’s scoring rate in quite a few games.
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