Indian senior wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni has been criticised a lot for not upping the ante in the first semi-final against New Zealand in Manchester. His 116-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja had brought India back in the game from nowhere and in the end, the onus was on the veteran to take the team home.
But Martin Guptill managed a sensational direct hit in the 49th over to catch Dhoni short of his crease and also shattered India’s hopes. Dhoni was dismissed on 50 off 72 deliveries and many were of the opinion that he should’ve played some shots early on in the innings. Rather some of the fans on social media have held him responsible for the loss overlooking the fact that the team was reeling at 24/4 at one stage and then 92/6. Meanwhile, the former Australia skipper Steve Waugh has defended MS Dhoni’s approach and feels that all the criticism is uncalled for.
Dhoni didn’t play any big shot until Jadeja was in the middle but when the left-hander got out in the 48th over, he had to take control of the game. With 31 needing in the last two overs, the 38-year-old smacked Lockie Ferguson for a six off the first ball but was run-out just when he was looking dangerous.
I think it is pretty unfair
Steve Waugh felt MS Dhoni could’ve won the game for India had he completed the second run. “I think it is pretty unfair. MS Dhoni has won so many games for India and he has played in the same way over a long period of time. He can get you in a situation that can give you a chance to win the game and without him, there would not be a chance to win a game,” he was quoted as saying by News 18.
“Of course, you are not going to win every time. The other day (during the semi-final), he was a couple of inches away from being home for the second run. He may have still won that game,” Waugh further added. However, the 54-year-old also went on to say that India should’ve chased down 240. He praised the way Matt Henry and Trent Boult bowled upfront which strangled the opposition.
“I expected India to chase down 240 but there was great bowling from Henry and Boult up front, three early wickets. Due to pressure in big game situations, it is hard to chase runs. India will no doubt be disappointed. They would have expected to make 240,” Waugh said.