India batting coach Sanjay Bangar defended the decision of playing MS Dhoni at the No. 7 position in the ICC World Cup 2019 semifinal clash between India and New Zealand by saying it wasn’t his alone.
India were knocked out by the finalists New Zealand in the semifinal which led to heavy criticism as Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya were sent ahead of Dhoni after the top order collapse.
Calling it a team decision, Bangar told Hindustan Times, “I am really flattered that people are looking at me from this angle because I am not the sole decision-making authority. Believe me, we assess and go through a lot of situations.”
“Ravi Shastri has categorically stated that it was a team decision. So, I fail to understand why this perception that the decision to send Dhoni at No. 7 was solely mine,” he added.
Bangar further said that even skipper Virat Kohli felt that Dhoni could accelerate in the death overs and also take care of the lower order with his experience.
The semifinal was played over two days in Manchester due to rain. Kane Williamson’s side restricted India to 239/8 in 50 overs. But the men in blue failed to chase a modest 240, getting knocked out of the tournament.
India lost four top-order batsmen for just 24 runs within the first 10 overs. Ravindra Jadeja (77) and Dhoni (50) shared a 116-run seventh-wicket stand to give their side some hope but India fell short by 18 runs and bowed out of the competition.