Sourav Ganguly feels India committed a grave tactical blunder by not promoting MS Dhoni to No4 in the 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand at Manchester on Wednesday.
India were chasing a target of 240 runs but fell short by 18 runs after a horrendous start which saw them reduced to 5-3 and then 24-4 in no time at Old Trafford. India opted to bring in Dhoni at No7 in the batting order on Wednesday and Ganguly feels that it was the wrong move by skipper Virat Kohli.
“Dhoni should have batted up,” Ganguly told broadcaster Star Sports.
“You need that composure and not just his batting. He would not have allowed wickets to fall in cluster. Dhoni was there when Jadeja batted. Communication is strength. You can’t have Dhoni at number seven.
“As a finisher, he still has tremendous respect. He can still clear the field and that’s why he left it for last. It’s not that he can’t hit sixes but he thinks that’s the way to win ODI matches.”
The former India skipper’s sentiments were echoed by his former team-mate Sachin Tendulkar who questioned the decision to bat Dinesh Karthik at No5.
“The question here can be, in a crunch moment like this, would you not think of promoting Dhoni with experience on his back? Towards the end he kept talking to Ravindra Jadeja and he was controlling things,” Tendulkar stated.
“May be instead of Hardik Pandya, Dhoni should have come up. Batting Dinesh Karthik at number five was slightly out of the box I felt,” he added.
Meanwhile, former India stalwart VVS Laxman too expressed his lament at Dhoni’s batting position in the semi-final.
“Dhoni should have come ahead of Pandya. It was a tactical blunder,” said Laxman.
“Dhoni should have walked ahead of Dinesh Karthik. Stage was set for Dhoni. In 2011 final also, he promoted himself up to bat at number four ahead of Yuvraj Singh and won the World Cup,” he added.
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