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India vs New Zealand, semifinal World Cup 2019: ‘A dive would have changed it’ - Shoaib Akhtar reacts to India’s loss in World Cup semifinal

New Zealand reached their second World Cup final with a stunning 18-run win over shell-shocked India at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

cricket Updated: Jul 11, 2019 18:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs New Zealand,World Cup 2019,Shoaib Akhtar
MS Dhoni (R) and Ravindra Jadeja during the ICC World Cup 2019 semifinal between India and New Zealand.(Action Images via Reuters)

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was all praise for the India duo of Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni after their loss against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2019 semifinal in Birmingham on Wednesday. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja staged India’s fightback in the tense chase of 240 after India did well to restrict New Zealand to 211 for 5 before rain played spoilsport on Tuesday. The 1st semi-final spilled into the reserve day. However, Jadeja was dismissed for 77 and Martin Guptill ran Dhoni out with a tremendous throw as India fell short by 18 runs.

“What a match. Wah, Wah, Ravindra Jadeja... very good innings. Dhoni... you are an absolute legend. With your game today, you have proved you’re a great batsman and a great brand ambassador for the team. But unfortunately, that run out changed it. A dive would have changed it. India, you were so close... yet so far,” Shoaib Akhtar said in his YouTube channel.

READ: Lata Mangeshkar has message for MS Dhoni amid retirement concerns

India were off to a horrible start to their run chase as key batsmen Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul all departed for one run each as Trent Boult and Matt Henry made a blistering start with the new ball.

Sharma had come into this match having made five hundreds this tournament, a record for a single World Cup.

But the opener fell for just one when he edged a fine Henry delivery that curved away to wicketkeeper Tom Latham.

India captain Kohli went next, lbw to a superb inswinger from left-armer Boult.

Kohli reviewed but replays upheld English official Richard Illingworth’s original out decision on umpire’s call and, to the despair of the massed ranks of India fans in the ground, the star batsman had to go.

India were then 5-3 when Rahul was brilliantly caught by a diving Latham following an edge off Henry.

READ: Middle-order overhaul on cards; could be end of road for Kedar, Karthik

“But hats off to India. India fought back really well. You have done yourself very proud. Jadeja, you have saved the grace. It was a poor batting performance by the top five players. Rohit (Sharma) got a brilliant ball. However, I think Virat Kohli was unlucky as it was a poor decision to give him out. The ball was just clipping the bails and he was given out by the on-field umpire.

“The other batsmen also did not show much intent until Jadeja came in and played superbly. And so was Dhoni who kept India in the hunt.”

“It was unfortunate that Jadeja got out to a ball that he could have hit for a six. And had Dhoni dived, who knows, he wouldn’t have got run-out and would have taken India across the finishing line,” he added.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 18:05 IST