It has been more than two months since the 2019 World Cup ended. However, there are a couple of games that people still talk about. One is the final, and the other is India vs. New Zealand semi-final. It was a case of so close and yet so far for the Men in Blue.
Against New Zealand, MS Dhoni walked in at No. 7 and with Ravindra Jadeja added a 116-run partnership to almost pull off a sensational victory for the Virat Kohli-led Indian side but in the end; they fell short by 18 runs.
Yuvraj Singh, who did not play any more 50-over World Cups after his 2011 heroics, in an exclusive chat with Aaj Tak said he was taken aback by India’s decision to send Dhoni as late as number 7.
“I was very surprised that MS came in to bat at No. 7. I felt that he should have batted higher being the most experienced. I don’t know what the team management thought. Anyways it’s done now,” said Yuvraj.
The former cricketer also lashed out at the Indian think-tank for not sorting out the No.4 problem on time. He said the captain and the coach should have realized it was a critical position and questioned the rationale behind using the inexperienced Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar up at number 4.
“You have to identify what is the best talent available and then you have to back that talent. For e.g. me and Mohammad Kaif during the 2003 World Cup. Everybody was failing badly in New Zealand but almost the same team played in the 2003 World Cup. Cut to the 2019 WC team: I was dropped, then Manish Pandey came in, then after 1-2 more players KL (Rahul) was also tried, (Suresh) Raina came back and then they went with Rayudu who played for 8-9 months and scored a 90 in NZ.
“Before the WC, we lost to Australia and Rayudu had a bad tournament and suddenly Vijay Shankar came in. The selectors should have understood the importance of the No. 4 position, especially in England. Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant didn’t have that experience. Dinesh Karthik was an experienced guy but was sitting out and suddenly goes to bat in the semis. So I really didn’t understand the thinking. I think that was the main reason why India didn’t win the WC,” added Yuvraj.