Ever since India have crashed out of the World Cup, there have been rumors of MS Dhoni hanging up his boots. The veteran cricketer hit a fifty but failed to take his side over the line in the all-important semi-finals against New Zealand at Old Trafford in Manchester. Virat Kohli’s men restricted the Kiwis to 239/8 in 50 Overs but fell 18 runs short of the modest target.
MS Dhoni’s fifty went in vain
Dhoni, 38, forged a 100-plus run stand with Ravindra Jadeja after the top-order failed to get going against the likes of Matt Henry and Trent Boult. Opener Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Kohli- all were dismissed for one.
It was Dhoni’s 350th ODI match. So far, the former skipper has scored 10,773 runs at an average of 50.57. He has 10 tons and 73 fifties to his name. There have been a fair amount of criticism regarding Dhoni’s approach and the slow strike rate than often ends up adding pressure during a chase.
Against the Kiwis, Dhoni came at a time when India were 71/5 in 22.5 Overs. He took his time and rotated the strike but let Jadeja go for the biggies while he played with a defensive approach. His strike rate read 69.44 as he hit 50 off 77 balls. He was found short of the crease after Martin Guptill took a direct hit on the stumps.
BCCi officials defend Dhoni
The Indian team received a lot of support from BCCI officials. BCCI acting President CK Khanna and CoA member Diana Edulji heaped praises on the team’s performance. India finished top of the table at the end of the group stages.
“The team played well. It was just unfortunate that the game went into the second day. Three early wickets put the team on the backfoot completely. Then it was a great recovery from Jadeja and Dhoni. It was a case of so close but yet so far. Hats off to Jadeja and Dhoni for the way they played,” Edulji told PTI.
Edulji, a former Indian captain, defended Dhoni and said that it is his decision to take a call on his future. According to her, the World Cup-winning skipper still has a lot of cricket left in him and the youngsters would need grooming.
“I completely appreciate the way he played in the whole tournament. That (retirement) is his personal decision. Only he can take that decision and it is his body which has to answer him. I still feel that he has a lot of cricket left in him. The youngsters in the team still need his mentorship, ” she added.