It’s been more than two months since the 2019 World Cup ended. However, there are a couple of games that people still talk about. One is obviously the final and the other is the India-New Zealand World Cup semi-final. It was a case of so close and yet so far for the Virat Kohli-led Indian side.
However, one question always pops up every time that semi-final is talked about and that is, why did MS Dhoni bat as low as No. 7? Chasing 240 in a high-pressure game, the Indian top-order was blown away. They were reduced to 24 for 4 in the first powerplay. Despite being in deep trouble, the team management opted to hold Dhoni back, who had been playing the sheet anchor’s role in such situations in the past. He had often arrested the slide in similar situations. However, Dhoni did not walk out to bat.
It was only in the 23rd over when Rishabh Pant fell to an ill-fated slog sweep that the former Indian skipper strode out to bat. When the Indian fans lost all hopes, Dhoni along with Ravindra Jadeja who played a blinder revived and brought India back in the game. In fact, it was Dhoni’s wicket in the penultimate over that decided the fate of the game.
In an exclusive chat with Aaj Tak, Yuvraj Singh couldn’t digest the fact that Dhoni was held back. He felt that his former teammate should’ve been batting a lot higher, given his experience. “I was very surprised that MS came in to bat at No. 7. I felt that he should have batted higher being the most experienced. I don’t know what the team management thought. Anyways it’s done now,” Yuvraj said.
‘The selectors should have understood the importance of the No. 4 position’
The No. 4 position in the Indian ODI team has been one of the most debated topics in cricketing circles in the recent past. Yuvraj Singh was one among the many who the team management tried in the build-up to the World Cup. When he was asked about the same, he said that the selectors should’ve understood the importance of the No. 4 position a lot earlier. The merry-go-round didn’t help India’s cause and he pointed out that as one of the reasons for India’s failure to win the World Cup this year.
“Before the WC, we lost to Australia and Rayudu had a bad tournament and suddenly Vijay Shankar came in. The selectors should have understood the importance of the No. 4 position, especially in England. Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant didn’t have that experience. Dinesh Karthik was an experienced guy but was sitting out and suddenly goes to bat in the semis. So I really didn’t understand the thinking. I think that was the main reason why India didn’t win the WC,” the former Punjab southpaw added.
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