ICC World Cup 2019: MS Dhoni ‘did not show any positive intent,’ says Sachin Tendulkar on Afghanistan knock
Team India’s match against Afghanistan has once again brought the focus back on former captain MS Dhoni’s tactics while batting in the middle overs. Dhoni shared a crucial partnership with Kedar Jadhav after India’s top order had flattered to deceive on a slow and sluggish pitch at Southampton.
Shot making was not easy and the excellence of the Afghan spinners meant India meandered to a total of 224/8 in 50 overs and won the match on the back of a final over hat-trick by Mohammed Shami.
Dhoni’s painstakingly slow innings of 28 runs in 52 balls has got tongues wagging again. The former India captain is known to take matches deep while batting first and second as he likes to keep wickets in hand and then go for a final flourish in the later overs. That tactic though boomeranged as Dhoni got out after playing a slow innings which left power hitter like Hardik Pandya and a set Kedar Jadhav with very few balls to go for the jugular.
Dhoni’s lack of intent, especially against spinners, has been pointed out by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who has demanded more from a senior player like Dhoni during his post match assessment for India Today.
“MS Dhoni is a senior player and should show positive intent. Afghanistan’s bowling is good but you can’t score only 119 runs in 34 overs. He did not show any positive intent against Afghanistan.
“MS Dhoni has the ability to hit but yesterday his strike rotation was not good. He faced too many dot balls and this hampered a strong finish for India. The intent could have been much better by the middle order batsmen.
“I believe MS Dhoni needs to up his ante when it comes to strike rotation in next matches,” Sachin Tendulkar said.
Dhoni’s batting has seen a major shift this year as the seasoned campaigner has donned a more attacking avatar, something that he was known for during his heydays as a middle order batsman. This shift in Dhoni’s intent while batting was seen as one of the biggest positives for the team coming into the showpiece event.
The good thing though is that the Indian middle and lower order got to spend a lot of time in the middle and that will definitely hold them in stead for the remaining challenges in the tournament.