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India vs New Zealand, semi-finals, ICC World Cup 2019: Kane Williamson offers superb reply when asked if he would pick MS Dhoni if he was his captain

During the press-conference, a journalist asked Williamson, “Had you been the Indian captain today, would you have taken Dhoni in your playing XI now?”

cricket Updated: Jul 12, 2019 08:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs New Zealand,semi-finals,ICC World Cup 2019
New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson (AP)

MS Dhoni nearly pulled off a remarkable chase for India in the semi-final clash against New Zealand. However, he fell short as he was run out spectacularly by Martin Guptill and this ended India’s hopes of pulling off a heist. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was asked about the experience and criticism MS Dhoni had to deal with at the post-match conference. The Kiwi captain lauded Dhoni for his calm and for his ability to read the game at all times. During the press-conference, a journalist asked Williamson, “Had you been the Indian captain today, would you have taken Dhoni in your playing XI now?”

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Williamson, who is normally a very calm character, had enough mirth left in him to offer a quirky response to this question.

“He is not eligible to play for New Zealand!” said Williamson as the entire room burst into laughter. “But he’s a world-class player. Had I been the India captain? Yeah, his experience at his level and in these occasions is so important and his contribution today and yesterday, but throughout this campaign, it was extremely, extremely important. That partnership he was involved in with Jadeja who came in and hit the ball better than anybody in both teams was very, very valuable and he’s a world-class cricketer. Is he looking to change nationalities? Because we will consider that selection if we have to!”

The run-out dismissal, which was the exact same way he was dismissed in during the 2015 World Cup, sealed the deal for New Zealand.

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“It was a great semi-final over two days and I’m very pleased to be on the right side of it,” Williamson said in the post-match presentation. “We just wanted to put the ball in the good areas and put pressure on India. We just wanted some early wickets and it was a great start for the bowlers. We needed to stay in the game for long periods. The way Jadeja and Dhoni were hitting the ball, they were likely to win, but our fielders were then outstanding.”

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 10:48 IST