Stokes baffled by India’s World Cup loss which hampered Pakistan’s qualification
England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes has questioned India’s approach, with the bat, during the 2019 World Cup match between the two sides.
Stokes had published a book titled ‘On Fire‘ where he talks about all the matches played by the England team during their triumphant World Cup campaign.
According to flamboyant cricketer, the way opener Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli played was mystifying while also saying that wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni showed no intent of winning the game.
It must be noted that if India had defeated England, it would have increased Pakistan’s chances of going into the event’s semi-finals.
“Arguably, the way MS Dhoni played when he came in with 112 runs needed from 11 overs was even stranger. He appeared more intent on singles than sixes. Even with a dozen balls remaining, India could still have won,” said Stokes.
“…there was little or no intent from him (Dhoni) or his partner Kedar Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke,” he added.
Stokes also opened up about Dhoni’s tactics during a run-chase and why he likes to get close to the target before going after the bowlers.
“There is a theory in our camp that Dhoni’s way of playing has always been the same. Even if India can’t win the game, he takes it right to the end to try to make sure that India’s run-rate stays relatively healthy,” he said.
“His big thing has always been to give himself a chance of winning by being at the crease for the final over, but he generally likes to stick around to get as close to a target as possible even in a losing cause,” he further added.
Sharma hit 102 but India fell short of their 338-run target in 31-run loss at Edgbaston.
Kohli’s side looked capable of making a record World Cup run chase at 198 for two from 36 overs, only to lose the plot in the last 10 overs.
“The way Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli played was mystifying. I know that we bowled brilliantly well during this period, but the way they went about their batting just seemed bizarre,” he said. “They allowed their team to get so far behind the game. They showed no desire to put any pressure back onto our team, content instead to just drift along, a tactic that was clearly playing into our hands.”
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) refrains from commenting on the matter
When the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was approached on the matter, the spokesperson refrained from commenting on the matter.
“The event [2019 World Cup] was organised by the ICC while the match being talked about does not involve Pakistan so commenting on this won’t be a sensible thing to do,” a board official said.