The Indian cricket team’s ICC World Cup 2019 might have come to an end after they lost to New Zealand in the first semi-final at Old Trafford, Manchester. New Zealand had put up a fighting total of 239/8 on the board thanks to half-centuries by Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. They needed something special to put the Indian team under pressure and their bowlers stepped up to the plate.
In no time, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli all walked back into the pavilion for just 1 run each and the Men in Blue were 5/3 in no time. After a brief partnership between Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, India slipped to 92/6. But it was then MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja took the team on the brink of victory.
However, with the run-rate going up every ball, Jadeja fell for a brilliant 77, leaving Dhoni to do the remaining work. But Dhoni was caught short by a Martin Guptill direct hit for 50 and that was it for the Indian team in the World Cup and they fell short by 18 runs. Many speculated that this was MS Dhoni’s final game in the Indian colors given his age and his waning abilities to finish the game.
However, BCCI acting president CK Khanna and CoA member Diana Edulji have come out in support of MS Dhoni, Team India and lauded their performances at the ICC event. Edulji said that while the decision to retire lies in the hands of Dhoni himself, he should give it a thought before taking a call.
“I completely appreciate the way he played in the whole tournament. That (retirement) is his personal decision. Only he can take that decision and it is his body which has to answer him. I still feel that he has a lot of cricket left in him. The youngsters in the team still need his mentorship, ” Edulji was quoted as saying by India Today.
MS Dhoni was criticized for his slow batting and strike rate throughout the tournament and his innings against England was specifically singled out for scrutiny. Fans and former cricketers felt that Dhoni showed no intent to chase down the target despite batting till the end. Now that he celebrated his 38th birthday and that the next big ICC event will happen in 2020 in Australia, it remains to be seen whether Dhoni wants to continue playing or not.
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