Ravi Shastri explains why MS Dhoni was sent in at No. 7 in the semis against New Zealand in the World Cup 2019

Dhoni, who had batted at number 5 throughout the World Cup, came in at number 7 in the semis. The Indians were struggling at 5 for 3, and it was the perfect opportunity for Dhoni to walk out, but Shastri had other plans
Ravi Shastri explains why MS Dhoni was sent in at No. 7 in the semis against New Zealand in the World Cup 2019Ravi Shastri explains why MS Dhoni was sent in at No. 7 in the semis against New Zealand in the World Cup 2019
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India coach Ravi Shastri revealed why MS Dhoni, who had batted at number 5 throughout the World Cup 2019, was sent to bat at number 7 in the semis against New Zealand. Struggling at 5 for 3 chasing 240, the Indian team management surprised one and all by holding back Dhoni, who was tailor-made for the situation. With the ability to grind it out and hold one end up, fans and critics expected the former skipper to walk out, but to the surprise of everyone, the Indian team management sent in Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya above Dhoni. 

This move was criticized heavily by Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, with the legends arguing that the youngsters did not have the experience to hold fort in that situation, with Matt Henry and Trent Boult swinging the new ball. Dhoni ended up making 50 runs, but was unable to take the side home as the pressure got to him, and he was run out taking a quick single with 25 runs to get and two wickets in hand.

Shastri, however, explained why the decision was taken. 

“It was a team decision. Everyone was in with it -- and it was a simple decision, too. Last thing you wanted was Dhoni coming out to bat early and getting out -- that would have killed the chase,” Shastri was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

“We needed his experience later. He is the greatest finisher of all times -- and it would have been criminal to not make use of him in that way. The whole team was clear on it,” Shastri reasoned.

Team India were one of the favourites for the title, and they ended the league stage on a high, ending with seven wins from eight games. In the semis, they had New Zealand on the mat for most parts of the game, but a period of bad cricket upfront when they were batting meant they were knocked out of the event. 

Shastri, however, was proud of how the team played. 

“Walk out with your heads held high. Be proud. Those 30 minutes can’t erase the fact that you guys have been the best team in the last couple of years. You guys know it. One tournament, one series a” and that, too, 30 minutes of play can’t decide that. You guys have earned that respect. Of course, we are all hurt and disappointed but, in the end, be proud of what you have done for the last two years.,” Shastri said to the Indian team, he revealed to the Indian Express.

 

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