MS Dhoni’s demotion in the batting order during the semi-final of World Cup 2019 was considered to be one of the reasons behind India failing to reach the target. Losing three quick wickets at the score of five, Team India needed someone like MS Dhon who could have slowed down the pace of the game.
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Instead, the team management sent inexperienced Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, who had batted just once in the tournament before, ahead of the former Indian skipper. Karthk was dismissed on the final ball of the 10th over while Rishabh was dismissed in 23rd over while playing a big shot.
The fans blamed former batting coach Sanjay Bangar for demoting Dhoni in the batting order but he had said that it was combined decision to hold back Dhoni.
Ravi Shastri, India’s head coach, was recently asked if Dhoni should have been promoted in the semi-final that day. Responding with a clear no, Shastri revealed the reasons why the team management held back Dhoni.
“Absolutely not (on whether India should have promoted Dhoni). Because at 5 for 3, had Dhoni gone, the game was over. But with Dhoni in the 48th over, with his computer out. Oh you were very much in the game but for that run-out,” he told India Today.
“And what is Dhoni’s strength. I will argue with anyone who wants to argue. What is Dhoni’s strength? What is he known for? The best finisher in the game. So where should he be batting….at the finish or at the top?
“So, Jadeja made things happen. It was a brilliant inning, we were nowhere. He made the game and there was the perfect orchestrator there, MS to finish it off. And I will tell you what, his computer was out. He knew who is going to bowl one over or six balls were calculated. It was all in his computer, but for that run-out but that’s the game,” Shastri added.
Team India was very much in the game till the time Dhoni was there but once he was run-out, Men in Blue’s hopes to chase down the target dwindled and they lost the semi-final by 18 runs.
Dhoni is yet to play a competitive match since then and is only expected to make his comeback to the game in IPL 2020. His participation in T20 World Cup next year will depend on his form in IPL.