Shastri discloses why MS Dhoni batted at Number 7: The Indian coach was vocal about the legendary cricketer’s batting position.
India coach Ravi Shastri has defended the team management’s decision of sending former India captain and current wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni at No. 7 during the first semi-final of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 against New Zealand at Old Trafford.
Ravi Shastri discloses why MS Dhoni batted at Number 7
Speaking in an interview with Indian Express, Shastri termed the strategy as a “simple decision”. Hailing Dhoni as the “greatest finisher”, Shastri revealed that the whole team was on the same page when it came to sending Dhoni at No. 7.
“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 was quoted as saying.
On Dhoni’s innings
Coming in to bat at 71/5 in the 23rd over in a 240-run chase, Dhoni stitched a 116-run stand for the seventh wicket alongside all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Albeit in a losing effort, Dhoni registered his 73rd ODI half-century before getting out.
Being asked about Dhoni’s performance in a crunch situation, Shastri lauded his composure. Shastri further opined that the 38-year old cricketer had calculated the target for the last over and looked set to achieve it. “He [Dhoni] was magnificent. The composure in the situation.
“And let me tell you, if not for that unfortunate run-out, I think he had his calculations going inside his head. Which ball to hit, how much to keep for [James] Neesham’s last over. You could see his brain was ticking. He wanted to do it so desperately and it was clear on his face when he came back to the dressing room,” Shastri said.
My country, My Team… My honour 🇮🇳
Could not be more grateful for the opportunity and even more for the belief and love the entire nation has shown us as a team 🙏🏻❤ We will be back stronger 🙌🏻#JaiHind #Strongertogether #bleedblueforever pic.twitter.com/HZ6ac1lX53
— Rishabh Pant (@RishabPant777) July 11, 2019
On Rishabh Pant
21-year old Rishabh Pant, who walked in to bat at No. 4 in the third over, showed excellent composure before throwing his wicket away 23rd over. Having scored 32 (56) with the help of four fours, Pant enticed appreciation from his coach who gave signs of the southpaw learning from his mistake.
“Rishabh Pant did look pretty secure when he got out to bat, even against Trent Boult, didn’t he? You could then say that if Pant had continued and not got out… but that’s sport.
“You grow up in quick time. He will learn, he already knows it. But I am happy that the team showed spunk. They didn’t give up even after losing Pant and [Hardik] Pandya. What a fightback that was,” Shastri added.