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Dhoni at No 7 was a team strategy: Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri hails the composure of MS Dhoni

Manchester, July 12: Ravi Shastri justified the decision to hold back Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the ICC World Cup 2019 semifinal against New Zealand at Old Trafford as a team strategy intending to use Dhoni's ability as a finisher.

Several critics, including former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, had termed the decision to play Dhoni at No 7 as a tactical blunder.

1. Why Dhoni came at No 7 in the semis

1. Why Dhoni came at No 7 in the semis

"It was a team decision. Everyone was in with it - and it was a simple decision, too. Last thing you wanted was Dhoni coming out to bat early and getting out - that would have killed the chase. 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 whole team was clear on it," Shastri was quoted as saying in an interview to Indian Express.

2. Shastri hails Dhoni's composure

2. Shastri hails Dhoni's composure

"He (Dhoni) was magnificent. The composure in the situation. And let me tell you, if not for that unfortunate runout, I think he had his calculations going inside his head. Which ball to hit, how much to keep for (James) Neesham's last over. You could see his brain was ticking. He wanted to do it so desperately and it was clear on his face when he came back to the dressing room," Shastri said.

3. On missing a regular batsman at No 4

3. On missing a regular batsman at No 4

"In hindsight, yes, we did need a solid batsman out there in the middle order. But now, that's something for the future. That's a position that was always giving us problems, but we just couldn't nail it. (KL) Rahul was there but then Shikhar Dhawan got injured. Then Vijay Shankar was there, and he got injured. We just couldn't control it," Shastri said.

4. On Rishabh Pant

4. On Rishabh Pant

"And Rishabh Pant did look pretty secure when he got out to bat, even against (New Zealand fast bowler) Trent Boult, didn't he? You could then say that if Pant had continued and not got out... but that's sport. You grow up in quick time. He will learn, he already knows it.. But I am happy that the team showed spunk. They didn't give up even after losing Pant and Pandya. What a fightback that was," Shastri said.

5. On Ravindra Jadeja

5. On Ravindra Jadeja

"Jadeja was outstanding. He has great natural talent and I am so glad that he has realised that he is a very good player... and what balance he brought to the team. Imagine, he was out for eight matches but every time he went on to the field in those, he gave it all. Tigerish. Running and throwing. Then he comes in and has two incredible games. He brings outstanding ability to the table. This is by far his best knock, and in the next two years, you are going to see the best of Jadeja. He is going to another level now."

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Story first published: Friday, July 12, 2019, 14:05 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 12, 2019
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