Former India opener Virender Sehwag has opined MS Dhoni should have batted higher in the World Cup semifinal. After losing just one game in the league stage, India crashed out of the tournament following a loss to New Zealand in the semifinal. However, Virender Sehwag thinks the result could have been different had Dhoni been sent higher up the order.
The Men in Blue came up with their worst performance of the tournament and lost the semifinal by 18 runs. Since the defeat, the Indian cricketing fraternity is busy discussing India’s tactics in the game. India’s re-shuffling of their middle order left many perplexed and Virender Sehwag is also one of them.
Inside three overs, India were reeling at 5 for 3 with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli back in the hut. While the majority was expecting MS Dhoni to come out and stop the rot, India sent Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya ahead of him.
By the time Dhoni came to the crease at number seven, India were already five wickets down for 71. The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman did revive India’s hopes along with Ravindra Jadeja but could not finish the game. He scored 50 and added 116 runs with Ravindra Jadeja who scored 77.
“If MS Dhoni had come up to bat against New Zealand, situation could have been different. Dhoni should have batted when India needed to build the innings,” Virender Sehwag was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
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Sehwag also stated that India would have been better off having Hardik Pandya at No. 7.
“Hardik could have batted down the order when 9+ runs were needed. Hardik and Pant could have chased down the high required rate if they came down the order,” Virender Sehwag added.
Dhoni, meanwhile, has not played since the defeat in the World Cup. He has taken a break after the tournament and recently served the Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir.