Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who crossed 10,000 ODI run-mark on Saturday, was reportedly booed by the Indian fans at the stadium for a slow-paced innings while chasing the total of 323 against England in the 2nd ODI. The wicketkeeper-batsman scored 37 runs in 59 balls with just two boundaries and a strike rate of 62.71. Skipper Virat Kohli, who was questioned on Dhoni’s innings at the post-match-presentation ceremony by Nasser Hussain, came to his defense and said people should stop questioning his abilities.
“This thing comes up again and again when he’s not able to play the way he does. It’s unfortunate that people jump to conclusions quickly. When he does well, people call him the best finisher ever, and when things do not go well, people pounce on him,” the 29-year old said.
He further went on to say that the team continues to trust all the players. “The idea was to take the innings deep. He has the experience but sometimes it doesn’t come off. We totally believe in him and the ability of all the players,” he added.
Chahal further came to Dhoni’s defense at the post-match press conference and said Dhoni’s innings ensured India played out the entire 50 overs. He added that there was no message from the dressing room to him to accelerate when he asked to changed the bat.
“I don’t know what was said to him (when he changed bats). After Hardik was dismissed, there were only me, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav and Kuldeep. So it wasn’t like there were 2-3 specialist batsmen remaining. He hadn’t batted much, so this was a chance to get a knock. If he had hit a shot earlier and got out, we couldn’t have even batted all 50 overs,” the leg-spinner said.
The man-of-the-match winner Joe Root also called the criticism from fans as “surprising” but added that it does not concern his side. “Yes (it was surprising), but ultimately it doesn’t really concern us. We always try and judge how we approach the game and how we go about things. We try to maintain a professional approach and be as ruthless as possible. We managed to see India through by bowling them out by the end of the game. So we are looking after our own game and putting ourselves in a strong position by the end of the game,” he said at the press conference.
India’s fame batting line-up succumbed during a 323-run chase to hand England a series-levelling 86-run win in the second ODI at Lord’s on Saturday. Skipper Eoin Morgan read the pitch correctly and decided to bat first and riding high on a glittering 113 by Joe Root posted 322/7 in 50 overs. In reply, India began well with openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan forging a 49-run stand. But they lost three wickets thereafter putting pressure on the batting line-up and India were eventually bowled out for 236.