Ben Stokes questions MS Dhoni’s intent: The English all-rounder found faults with the veteran Indian cricketer’s approach during chase vs England.
The 38th match of last year’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between England and India witnessed the visitors losing their first match of the tournament after they failed to chase a 338-run target.
Despite vice-captain Rohit Sharma (102) and captain Virat Kohli (66) sharing a 138-run partnership for the second wicket, India could only manage to score 306/5 in 50 overs.
Veteran wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who came in to bat at No. 6 with India needing 112 runs off 65 balls, was required to play an archetype hard-hitting innings but it wasn’t to be as his 42* (31) didn’t even take his team closer to a victory.
India should not be too disappointed as Eng played better cricket but the only thing India needs to think about would be as to who would be the strikers of the ball in the last 10 overs. Come another day does India have the firepower to chase down such a target? #ENGvIND #CWC2019
— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) June 30, 2019
Ben Stokes questions MS Dhoni’s intent
England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who had scored a fantastic 79 (54) in the first innings, has questioned Dhoni’s approach of playing in the last 10 overs. In his new book (yet to be published) titled ‘On Fire’ published by Headline Books and distributed by Hachette India, Stokes has pointed out lack of intent from Dhoni or batting partner Kedar Jadhav.
“Arguably, the way MS Dhoni played when he came in with 112 runs needed from 11 overs was even stranger. He appeared more intent on singles than sixes. Even with a dozen balls remaining, India could still have won.
“…there was little or no intent from him [Dhoni] or his partner Kedar Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke,” Stokes has mentioned in his book.
Dhoni, who is known for taking chases till the end before turning the tables, had given a similar initial impression to the English players according to Stokes. But, it was one of those days when the legendary batsman failed to seal the chase.
“There is a theory in our camp that Dhoni’s way of playing has always been the same. Even if India can’t win the game, he takes it right to the end to try to make sure that India’s run-rate stays relatively healthy.
“His big thing has always been to give himself a chance of winning by being at the crease for the final over, but he generally likes to stick around to get as close to a target as possible even in a losing cause,” Stokes wrote.