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ICC World Cup 2019 | Leaving Dhoni So Late Was a Blunder: Ganguly

Cricketnext Staff |July 12, 2019, 11:52 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Leaving Dhoni So Late Was a Blunder: Ganguly

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly was surprised by Indian team management’s decision to push Mahendra Singh Dhoni so far down the order in their 18-run loss to New Zealand in the ICC World Cup semifinal at Old Trafford in Manchester on Wednesday (July 10).

Ganguly felt Dhoni would have been perfect foil to guide a youngster like Rishabh Pant in the middle.

“India, who were outstanding in the group stages made a few surprising decisions in this game. Leaving Dhoni for so late, when three wickets are lost early was a blunder. They needed to consolidate and if anyone was a perfect foil to young Rishabh at that stage, it would have been Dhoni,” Ganguly wrote in his column for the Times of India.

“India needed the exuberance of youth and the calmness of Dhoni at that stage to hold the innings together and rebuild and that was a mistake by the team. Also, the omission of Mohammad Shami was tough to understand,” he added.

Ganguly, who led the Indian team to the final in the 2003 World Cup, felt India’s weak middle-order was exposed with the early loss of Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli.

“Right throughout the World Cup and maybe even before, Indian fans’ biggest fear was what would happen if we lose both Rohit and Kohli early? Especially with (Shikhar) Dhawan injured. Well that’s exactly what happened in this crucial tie. Losing three wickets with five runs on the board was too much for India to recover from,” Ganguly wrote.

The former India opener felt the India team failed to come to terms with the enormous pressure of a World Cup semifinal.

“Knockouts are knockouts, the equations are different, the pressure is different and all the form of the group stage means nothing. Who knows it better than India one day after that long semifinal in Manchester. India hadn’t lost in Manchester since 2015, but were below their best in the very important game. Pressure is always enormous in a semifinal and at times more than a final,” he felt.

But Ganguly praised the Indian bowling attack as well, led by Jasprit Bumrah.

“New Zealand played differently when they batted. They were put under consistent pressure by a very good Indian bowling unit, a unit which was just pure quality led by the very best, Bumrah. When they finished at 239, even the fiercest supporters of the Kiwis felt that this Indian batting lineup would chase it down with ease and the only case they had in support was the scoreboard pressure in big games,” he wrote.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more