The memories of India’s 18-run defeat versus New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final are still afresh in the minds of the fans. After a dominating show in the league stages where the team finished on top, Virat Kohli and Co were shown the doors of exit. One of the topics of discussion that did the rounds was regarding MS Dhoni’s batting position in the all-important game in Manchester.
During India’s run-chase, Dhoni came to bat at number seven when half-the-side was back in the hut with very little on the board. Dhoni didn’t lose his calm and started the resurrection with Ravindra Jadeja. He got a half-century, but his efforts went in vain. Now after a month after the encounter at the Old Trafford, Virender Sehwag, the former Indian cricketer, had an opinion on the same.
‘Hardik could have batted down the order’
Sehwag said that the match would’ve panned out in a different way had Dhoni batted higher up the order when India needed someone to build the innings. “If MS Dhoni had come up to bat against New Zealand, the situation could have been different. Dhoni should have batted when India needed to build the innings,” Sehwag was quoted as saying in Hindustan Times.
Dhoni scored 50 runs off 72 balls and his knock had a four and a six each. His knock was cut short by an incredible direct hit from Martin Guptill. His dismissal also sealed the fate of the match. As per Sehwag, Hardik Pandya could’ve come lower down the order purely because of his ability to accelerate. Pandya batted at number six and scored 32 before perishing to Mitchell Santner.
“Hardik could have batted down the order when 9+ runs were needed. Hardik and (Rishabh) Pant could have chased down the high required rate if they came down the order,” Sehwag, who was part of the 2011 World Cup versus Sri Lanka, added.
When Dhoni came to bat, India needed 169 runs in 27.1 overs. He and Jadeja added 116 runs for the seventh wicket to keep India’s hopes alive. The duo also kept up with the required run-rate, which threatened to escalate at regular intervals. But their weren’t enough.
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