Ravi Shastri, head coach of Team India, said that the Dhoni team needed experience, which is why he was sent to Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya.
The decision to send MS Dhoni to 7th place in Old Trafford in the first semifinal of the World Championship against New Zealand brought a strong backlash to Indian team management. Former Indian cricketers such as Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman were stunned by the decision to send the most experienced player of the Indian team to the next round. Dhoni made a bat on India on 71st with 71: 5 against India and added 116 runs for the seventh wicket with Ravindra Jadeja to turn the game almost in favor of India.
However, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri had his own defense ready when he was asked to send Dhoni down. Shastri announced that it was a team decision to withhold Wicket Keepers' experienced racket for the final part of the game. Shastri explained that the team needed Dhoni's experience, which is why he was sent to Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya. According to him, they did not want Dhoni to enter early and lose his wicket. In this case, the chances for India would be halfway over.
"It was a team decision. Everyone was there and it was an easy decision too. The last thing you wanted was for Dhoni to come out early and come out, which would kill the persecution. " Shastri was quoted as saying Indian Express one day after India lost another World Cup semi-final.
"We needed his experience later. He is the greatest finisher of all time and it would have been criminal not to use him this way. The whole team was aware of that. " Shastri added before praising MS Dhoni's performance and insisting that the former Indian captain had a great opportunity to bring India to victory, if not for an unfortunate collapse.
"And Rishabh Pant looked pretty sure when he got out to beat, even against Trent Boult, the New Zealand fast bowler, right? You could say if Pant had gone on and not quit … but that's sport. He's going to learn it, he already knows, but I'm glad that the team showed sperm and they did not give up after losing Pant and Pandya – what a fight that was. " he added, explaining the team's decision to send Dhoni to seventh place.
"He (Dhoni) was great. The serenity in the situation. And let me tell you, if not for this unfortunate spout, I think he had his calculations in his head. Which ball needs to be hit, how much must be kept for (James) Neesham to have his last ball? 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 locker room, " Shastri said.
Shastri increases the morale of the team after a shock defeat
India ended up with 18 runs and suffered a huge setback with Jadeja and Dhoni 221 in 49.3 overs. In the end, the result counted as New Zealand moved into the final for the second consecutive year and India was eliminated again after 2015 from the semifinals of the World Cup. However, the 57-year-old helped the team catch up In the wake of the defeat he admitted, it was a "hard pill to swallow", but the Indian team was "tough enough" to accept that defeat and their progress continue.
"Those 30 minutes can not erase the fact that you've been the best team for a few years, you know, a tournament, a series and even 30 minutes of play time can not decide that, you deserve that respect, of course we're all hurt and disappointed, but in the end, be proud of what you have done in the last two years. " The coach was still quoted as saying.
Shastri, who was a member of the Indian team that won the 1983 World Cup in England, acknowledged that India had not received a solid mid-range batsman and Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar's injuries aggravated the situation. India had to promote KL Rahul to the opening slot after Dhawan was eliminated, while Vijay's toe injury saw Rishabh Pant make up for his place in the middle tier. Shastri said that the medium-sized problem has always been a headache for India and acknowledged that the team could not make it.