India was knocked out by New Zealand in the semi-final of the World Cup 2019. After the rain-hit first day, India was forced to bat on the reserve day and the top-order collapsed like dominoes.
During the match, to everyone’s surprise, Dhoni was sent at number seven, and not at the top of the order. There was a lot of criticism about the same as well.
Talking about the decision, the Indian coach Ravi Shastri revealed: “It was a team decision. Everyone was in with it — and it was a simple decision, too. The last thing you wanted was Dhoni coming out to bat early and getting out — that would have killed the chase”
“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 added.
Ravi Shastri also gave the team a pep talk after the shock defeat. He asked the members to hold their heads high and 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 — 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,” the coach was quoted further as saying by the Indian Express.
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