Sachin Tendulkar urges MS Dhoni to show positive intent while batting
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s strike rate was once again under the scanner on Saturday as India laboured to 224 for 8 against Afghanistan in their World Cup 2019 match in Southampton.
Dhoni scored 28 off 52 balls in the middle overs, at a time when the Indian team needed him to up the ante and take the attack to the opposition but the former skipper just couldn’t get going against the disciplined Afghanistan spinners.
Speaking to India Today after the match, former captain Sachin Tendulkar urged Dhoni to bat with more intent in the future games for India.
“MS Dhoni is a senior player and should show positive intent. Afghanistan’s bowling is good but you can’t score only 119 runs in 34 overs. He did not show any positive intent against Afghanistan.
“MS Dhoni has the ability to hit but yesterday his strike rotation was not good. He faced too many dot balls and this hampered a strong finish for India. The intent could have been much better by the middle order batsmen.
“I believe MS Dhoni needs to up his ante when it comes to strike rotation in next matches,” Sachin Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar also pointed out that the 57-run partnership for the fifth wicket between MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav was just slow and it is one area (batting in the middle overs) where the team needs to improve.
“I felt slightly disappointed, it could have been much better. I was also not happy with the partnership between Kedar and Dhoni, it was very slow. This was one area where we didn’t look comfortable at all. There was no positive intent.
“There were more than 2-3 dot balls. After Virat got out in the 38th over and till the 45th over we hadn’t scored many runs. There were not enough outings for the middle order batsmen till now and that put pressure on them. But the intent could have been much better by the middle order batsmen,” Tendulkar said.
India were in danger of suffering their first defeat of World Cup 2019 but the two-time champions held their nerves and defended the small total, winning the game by 11 runs after bowling out Afghanistan for 213 in 49.5 overs.
Mohammed Shami picked up a hat trick in the final over, including the wicket of the dangerous Mohammad Nabi for 52, who was threatening to take the game away from India.
Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya also contributed with two wickets each to help India clinch two points and move up to the third spot in the points table after five games.
Courtesy : India Today