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World Cup 2019: 5 reasons why MS Dhoni coming in at No.7 against New Zealand was a tactical blunder

Prasoon Raj
Top 5 / Top 10
2.49K   //    15 Jul 2019, 10:37 IST

India v New Zealand - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final
India v New Zealand - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final

India fell agonisingly short of a place at the World Cup 2019 final as a sensational direct hit from Martin Guptill ended the hopes of one of the most miraculous comebacks in World Cup history, with New Zealand sealing their place in the finals of the competition.

New Zealand batted first and put up a below-par target of 240 on the board, owing to impressive bowling performances from Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja. The inning was completed on the reserve day because of relentless rain and India came out to bat on a fresh, yet moist wicket.

They had the worst possible start and within a span of 20 balls, their top three run-getters of the tournament were back in the hut with the scoreboard reading 5/3. Despite some resistance from Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, besides a staggering 113-run partnership between Jadeja and MS Dhoni, New Zealand came out on top by 18 runs.

However, one question that puzzled every Indian cricket fan was why Dhoni was pushed down the batting order, when the need of the hour was experience at the middle. It felt rather bemusing to see wickets tumbling in the middle and a player like MS Dhoni with such massive calibre seeing all that unfold from 100 metres out.

Here are five reasons why Dhoni coming in late down the order was a tactical blunder from the team management.

#5 Expecting inexperienced players to tackle Henry and Boult

India v New Zealand - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final
India v New Zealand - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final

In no time, the soul of Indian batting, their top order was back in the pavilion and India were tottering at 5-3. The two batsmen out there, trying to negate such venomous spell of fast bowling on a stage of World Cup semi-final were Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik. While Karthik did have some experience, Pant was pretty raw for such a situation and condition.

Rishabh Pant was only 8 ODI innings old while Karthik had faced only 8 deliveries in the entire campaign.

MS Dhoni was the only batsman to have had a proper outing with the bat throughout the tournament other than the top three and the players who hardly had enough match practice were suddenly facing the spell of fast bowling which even Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli couldn't handle.


However, Pant played well while Karthik got out to a stunning catch from James Neesham. Yet, the mere ideology behind pushing the finishers up the order and asking the most experienced batsman in the dressing room to wait for his chance was quite baffling.

Also read – World cup most wickets

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