Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has come down hard on Ravi Shastri after India’s shock loss at the hands of New Zealand in the first semifinal of World Cup 2019. New Zealand beat India by 18 runs to dump them out of the competition. Defending a modest total of 239, New Zealand bowled out their fancied opponents for 221.
India’s top order failed to fire which eventually cost them the game. India were reeling at 5 for 3 and then 92 for 6. The scoreline could have been lot more embarrassing but fifties from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni revived the chase and helped the Men in Blue post a decent total on the board. One of the most baffling aspects of India’s chase was their batting order.
After losing three early wickets, India raised quite a number of eyebrows with their batting order. At a time when India needed an experienced man to provide solidity to the batting order, they sent MS Dhoni at number seven. The likes of Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik came out to bat ahead of Dhoni. The move eventually backfired as India did not have any pinch hitter left when they needed them at the end.
And Sourav Ganguly feels sending Karthik ahead of Dhoni was a blunder. Citing the example of the rash shot played by Rishabh Pant, Sourav Ganguly said that Dhoni would not have let the youngster play the shot.
“Dhoni should’ve walked ahead of Karthik. He wouldn’t have let Rishabh play that shot. You would have Pandya, Karthik in the back end of the innings along with Jadeja. I don’t know what the coach was thinking but that was a big blunder,” said Sourav Ganguly.
“Dhoni should have batted up. You need that composure and not just his batting. He would not have allowed wickets to fall in cluster. If Dhoni was there when Pant was batting, he would not have allowed Pant to play that shot against the breeze. You can’t have Dhoni at number seven,” added Sourav Ganguly.
New Zealand, meanwhile, will now take on the winner of the second semifinal between England and Australia in the final.