MS Dhoni is currently serving the Indian Army in Kashmir but still is in the news related to cricket. His recent form in the just-concluded ICC World Cup 2019 and batting positions were the most debated topics in Team India’s journey in the ICC event. Dhoni was criticized for the lack of intention with the bat and his innings against England, the only match India lost in league stages came was disparaged.
However, the biggest shock came when MS Dhoni was pushed to no.7 during the semi-final match between India and New Zealand played on July 9-10 in Manchester. New Zealand had batted first in the ODI match which was played over two days due to rain interruptions. Ross Taylor top-scored as Kiwis put on 239/8 in 50 overs.
India was rattled by Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson as they were reduced to 5/3 and then 92/6. Rohit, Rahul, and Kohli all made 1-run each and then Pandya, Karthik and Pant batted before the team finally sent out MS Dhoni. Along with Ravindra Jadeja, Dhoni put on a century partnership and ignited hopes of Indian fans for an unlikely win.
Proud of the brand of cricket played: Bangar
Talking about this decision of saving Dhoni was initially thought to be of assistant coach Sanjay Bangar, but he has now come out to explain the rationale how it wasn’t just him, but the whole team management who were involved. “I am really flattered that people are looking at me from this angle because I am not the sole decision-making authority. Believe me, we assess and go through a lot of situations,” Bangar was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
He further added, “Virat Kohli also stated in his press conference after the semi-finals that after the Afghanistan game, it was decided that Dhoni could bat a little lower down (till that point he had batted at No 5), so that he could play post the 35th over as he could accelerate in the death overs and also take care of the lower order with his experience. So, he was slated to bat at No 6 in the semis.”
Dhoni made 50 in the semis and was run out by a direct throw from Martin Guptill in the penultimate over, ending hopes of India making it into the finals. Bangar said that coach Shastri had categorically mentioned that it was a team decision and everyone was fine with it. However, this time the veteran finisher failed to finish the match and Bangar says like every Indian fan, the team was “extremely disappointed with the semi-final exit” but were “proud of the brand of cricket played.”
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