- Former England captain Nasser Hussain was surprised how Dhoni approached his innings in the 2nd ODI at Lords
- The former India captain scored just 37 runs off 59 balls as India eventually lost the match 86 runs
- Nasser Hussain did ask Virat Kohli about Dhoni’s innings and wasn’t at all surprised as the Indian captain came to the defence of the veteran player.
England’s 86 run win against India in the 2nd ODI at Lords in London, lifted some of the pressure from the English team following their loss in the T20I series and the 1st ODI. Joe Root was the star of show scoring a brilliant 113 of 116 deliveries as India missed the services of star bowling duo Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
‘Odd’ innings by Dhoni leaves Nasser Hussain completely surprised
The former Indian captain came into bat with India struggling at 140 for 4 in 27 overs but rather than driving his team to the target, Dhoni decided to play out the remaining overs helping his team get as close to the target as possible. He was the third highest run-scorer in the team with 37 runs but unfortunately for the fans watching at home and the crowd at Lords, he took 59 balls to reach that mark, hitting just 2 fours in the process.
Speaking to Skysports, Hussain said, “I thought it was a very odd inning from the greatest-ever finisher in white-ball cricket. Dhoni, more recently, has taken longer to get going, especially when spin is on, so I wasn’t surprised by his start, especially against the leg-spin of Adil Rashid. But I was surprised he never really played a shot in anger until he got out.
Who are we to criticise MS Dhoni? But, I’d rather India have gone down with a bit of a fight than a whimper.”
What Nasser Hussain is saying is true, during his 59 ball inning, Dhoni hardly played a shot in anger or was seen frustrated with the slow progress of the match. The Chennai Super Kings did open his arms out finally in the 47th over but proved ineffective as it pounced by Ben Stokes at the boundary line. However, The big shot which led to his dismissal was seemingly a result of a message he had received from the dressing room during the mid-over break.
Captain Kohli jumps to the defence of the World Cup-winning captain
In India cricket new today, Nasser Hussain did not forget to ask Virat Kohli about Dhoni’s inning during the post-match presentation ceremony but wasn’t also surprised with the response. Speaking in the presentation ceremony, Kohli said,“It’s very unfortunate people just jump to conclusions very quickly. When he does well, people call him the best finisher ever and when they don’t go well, they all pounce on him. We all have bad days in cricket and today was a bad one for everyone, not just him.”
Reacting to Kohli’s comments about Dhoni, Hussain later on said “I wasn’t surprised at all by captain Virat Kohli’s answer at the presentation, saying Dhoni cops a bit of unfair criticism.
Believe me, in this Indian side, the regime and culture is you do not criticise your ‘seniors’ as they call them. What would the Indian press be like if Kohli had a go at Dhoni at a press conference? It’s just not going to happen. You back your seniors all the time.”
Hussain believes such kind of a knock isn’t fair for the thousands who pay a lot of money to get tickets and take out their valuable time to watch their favourite Indian stars in action. He said, “But it was a very odd inning – it looked like he was just having a net and preparing himself for the next game. It didn’t cost India the game – I don’t think he’d have got them over the line anyway – but there were a lot of people in here who had spent a lot of money to watch the game, a lot of them coming to see Dhoni, and I don’t think they got their money’s worth from him today.”
In cricket latest news, both teams will now be travelling to Headingley in Leeds for the 3rd and final ODI match before the first test match starting on August 1st.