MS Dhoni had joined Virat Kohli at the centre when India’s middle order stuttered in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash in Manchester. Dhoni got going with a boundary but West Indies bowled some tight overs in the middle overs. Kohli fell for 72 as India were eyeing a total in excess of 250+. In the previous game against Afghanistan, Dhoni was criticised for batting too slowly and his strike-rate was in the low fifties in that game. After smashing a boundary after 16 overs, Dhoni ended the innings with a flourish by blasting two sixes and a four in the final over bowled by Oshane Thomas. Dhoni’s 72nd fifty gave India a good score and despite some fumbles behind the stumps, he took a brilliant one-handed catch to send Carlos Brathwaite back as India came to a step closer to the semi-final with a thumping 125-run win.
When asked about queries of whether MS Dhoni was batting too slowly, Kohli immediately brushed it aside. “Dhoni knows exactly what he wants to do in the middle. When he has an off day here and there, everyone starts talking. We always back him. He has won us so many games. The best thing about having someone like him is when you need those 15-20 runs, he knows exactly how to get them. His experience, 8 out of 10 times has come good for us. We have quite a few players who play instinctive cricket and follow their game plans. He's such a keen understanding of the game. Always sends us feedback, that you know 260 is a good score. He's a legend of the game. We all know that” Kohli added.
The Indian cricket team skipper added that he need not tell his batsmen how to go about their approach in any situation and this was the major strength of his side. “I don't need to tell anything to my batsmen, they have to adjust according to their strengths and weaknesses and play according to the pitch. That's my game plan, I look to play in my own way, happy to take the ones and twos which I think is a big factor in ODI cricket, around 70 per cent of my runs come in this way,” Kohli said.
India’s next match is against England on June 30 in Edgbaston, Birmingham and a win will see Kohli’s side seal their spot in the semi-final. A loss, though, will not be detrimental as they have played the least number of games so far in the tournament.