India’s cricket team has come in for sharp criticism for what fans are calling their “surrender” to England.
India lost Sunday’s World Cup game by 31 runs, but the way India went about chasing the total has upset fans.
India needed 112 runs in 11 overs with explosive batsmen like MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant in the batting line up.
But with Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav opting for singles and doubles, many say it looked as if they weren’t even trying.
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Angry and confused fans have especially taken objection to Dhoni’s performance in the last few overs of the game. The former captain has the reputation of being one of the best finishers in one-day cricket, but he looked like a shadow of his former self.
However some fans defended him, citing his glorious contributions to Indian cricket in the past and calling out people who suggested that his performance was motivated by other factors.
Dhoni quit Test cricket in 2014 but led the one-day side in the 2015 World Cup. His side lost to Australia in the semi finals, despite him scoring 65 off 65 balls.
Many at the time felt it was Dhoni’s last World Cup, with NDTV calling the innings his “final effort in his final World Cup match”.
He stood down as the captain of the one-day side in 2017 but has continued to play for the country in this format. Some critics have said Dhoni, who is 38, should have made way for a younger player in the World Cup and this performance has made these voices louder.
But his captain Virat Kohli has defended him, saying that Dhoni continues to be an integral part of India’s strategy to win the cup.
The batsman is also known for always answering his critics with his bat and he has at least two more matches in the tournament to do just that.