Former West Indies paceman Michael Holding has opened up on India’s loss against Australia in the first ODI in Sydney. Despite half-centuries from Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan, the target of 375 proved to be too much for India as they fell short by 66 runs to concede a series lead. Michael Holding felt that India missed former Indian captain, MS Dhoni, in pursuit of a steep chase in Sydney.
Australia set India a target of 375 on the back of centuries from Aaron Finch and Steve Smith alongside a handy cameo from Glenn Maxwell. India’s sloppy fielding and loose bowling at times also significantly contributed to the same as the hosts took full advantage of the same. After a strong start, India found themselves four down quickly and the 128-run stand between Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan was not enough to script a victory.
Michael Holding reckons it was always going to be a challenge for India to chase down 375 and MS Dhoni’s loss is a massive one for them. The Jamaican underlined that the keeper-batsman walked halfway down the batting order and assumed control of the chase and the men in blue have done well batting second in Dhoni’s presence.
“It was always going to be difficult for India to chase that down. One thing India will struggle with is the loss of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. MS Dhoni comes in to this Indian batting order halfway down and he usually takes control while chasing. India have chased so well in the past with MS Dhoni in the team,” Michael Holding told in his Youtube channel.
MS Dhoni was a special man in the run-chase: Michael Holding
Michael Holding further said that India hardly used to panic when MS Dhoni used to be at the crease since the 39-year old paces the innings quite well, realizing his ability and what needs to be done. Holding mentioned that he also helps his fellow teammates during the same and while he admits India has a fantastic batting line-up, Dhoni was a crucial man in their setup.
“We never see MS Dhoni panicking at any stage while India are chasing. He usually paces that chase so well because he knows his ability and he knows how to go about the chase. Whoever is batting with him, he is always talking with them and helping them. Fantastic batting lineup, but MS Dhoni was a special man in the run-chase,” he added.