Category: Sports

Sending Dhoni to bat at No. 7 was a team decision: Ravi Shastri

London: India head coach Ravi Shastri revealed that sending M.S. Dhoni to bat at No. 7 in their 18-run World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand was a team decision.

In the first semifinal which was played over two days due to rain in Manchester, India restricted the Black Caps to 239/8 in 50 overs. But chasing the modest 240 for a place in the final, India was blown away by the Kiwi bowlers led by Matt Henry (3/37) on the reserve day.

Indian team lost four top-order batsmen for just 24 runs inside 10 overs before Ravindra Jadeja (77) and Dhoni (50) shared a 116-run seventh wicket stand to raise hopes of an unlikely victory. However, it wasn't sufficient in the end as India fell short by 18 runs.

But Dhoni was sent in to bat after Dinesh Karthik who came in at No. 5 followed by Hardik Pandya, raising quite a few eyebrows.

"It was a team decision. Everyone was in with it -- and it was a simple choice, too. The last thing you wanted was MS Dhoni coming out to bat early and getting out -- that would have killed the chase," Shastri was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

"We needed his experience later. He is the greatest finisher of all times -- and it would have been criminal to not make use of him in that way. The entire team was clear on it," Shastri reasoned.

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