MS Dhoni’s batting performance in the ODI series against England has left former Indian veteran opener Virender Sehwag unimpressed.
The Men in Blue lost the 3rd ODI against England at Leeds and went on to lose the 3-game series, their first bilateral series loss after nine consecutive bilateral series wins. Virat Kohli and the team staff had already hinted in advance that the team will test the bench strength during this series.
India got off to a brilliant start in the opening ODI where they beat England convincingly. However, the English team came back strongly in the following two ODIs to take the series 2-1.
At the toss ahead of the 3rd ODI, Virat Kohli confirmed three changes to the line-up, as Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur were included in the playing XI at the expense of KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul. India did not find it easy during the first innings, with the wicket appearing to be sluggish.
The powerful Indian line-up struggled for most parts of the 50 overs, as they could only manage a below-par 256. That type of a total was never going to trouble England in their own den, unless the Indians could pick up early wickets.
However, that was not to happen, with the English openers giving a strong start to the hosts. The Indian bowlers had a poor outing as England eased to a eight-wicket victory. There has been a lot of criticism following the poor show by the Men in Blue at Leeds, with many critics taking a shot at the team selection and the batsmen.
Former dashing opener, Virender Sehwag also felt that the batsmen were guilty of the loss, as India posted a below-par total and were 30-40 runs short of a competitive total.
“India lost because they didn’t score runs. They were 30-40 runs short of putting up a challenging total. The batsmen could have done a better job, be it anyone, Dhoni, Kohli, Rohit or Dhawan, either should have hung on to score runs so that the bowlers could apply pressure in the chase. I blame the batsmen for this loss,” Sehwag spoke in an exclusive interview to IndiaTV.
India’s veteran wicket-keeper batsman, MS Dhoni, also spent a lot of time on the pitch, but found it difficult to get runs. When someone of Dhoni’s league plays 66 balls, the others expect him to accelerate and finish the innings on a high. However, the former Indian skipper got dismissed in the 46th over, failing to give India the late push they required.
Sehwag was also critical of his former captain, who he believes should have played till the end of the innings.
“If Karthik and Dhoni could have hung on till the end, the outcome could have been very different. I feel that Dhoni is not the same person that he was before. Age is surely catching up. He used to take the responsibility to take the match till the end. He could have converted the many dot balls he played into runs,” Sehwag spoke.
The Indian team now have a long rest before a tour-game against Essex on the 25th, before facing England in the opening Test at Birmingham from 1st of August.