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India vs New Zealand, Cricket World Cup: It was a tactical blunder to send Dhoni at number seven

India vs New Zealand, Cricket World Cup: It was a tactical blunder to send Dhoni at number seven, say former greats
Image - Times of India
MANCHESTER: India committed a "tactical blunder" by dropping MS Dhoni to number seven in the batting order, said former stalwarts Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, who were baffled by the move in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. 

When Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik were sent in front of Dhoni, India was placed in three consecutive wickets, followed by 5 for three and later 24 runs for the fourth wicket. 

In the end, it became very difficult after India lost by 18 runs. 


"Dhoni has to go ahead in front of Panday. Dhoni should have walked ahead of Dinesh Karthik. The stage was set for Dhoni. In 2011 final also, he promoted himself up to bat at number four ahead of Yuvraj Singh and won the World Cup," rued Laxman. 

Former captain Ganguly said it is not just Dhoni's batting but his great effect on other batsmen. 

When attacking spinner Mitchell Santner, Rishav set a point to destroy the wicket. After Pant's dismissal, the coach was watching Virat Kohli animated chat with coach Ravi Shastri. 

"India needed experience at that level when Dhoni was there at Pant's batting, he did not allow the shot to play the shot against the wind, this is a big reason in England mid-off and mid-on because he's good. 

"Dhoni should have been batting, it was only needed for the batsman. He could not have dropped the cluster. Jadeja batted when Dhoni was there. Communication is power. You can't have Dhoni's number seven," Ganguly told the public broadcaster. 

He said, "In the end, he has shown great respect, he can still clean up the ground and that is why he goes to the end, he can not make six centuries, but he thinks there is a way to win ODIs." 

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar also feels that the captain Virat Kohli has made mistakes without increasing Dhoni. 

"Here is the question, like an accidental moment, do you not think of promoting Dhoni with his back experience? In the end, he talked with (Ravindra Jadeja) and he is controlling some. 

"Maybe Dhoni should have come, instead of Hardik, batting Dinesh Kartik was out of the little box at number 5," he said. 

Ganguly said, in the last one and a half years, the biggest mistake of Indian selectors was a difficult middle order was not found. 

"One criticism (for the selectors) they are fiddled around the middle dominance." 

"You can not always depend on Rohit and Virat," said Laxman. 

Ganguly said, "India will have to push Rishabh Pant to five, while KL Rahul can bat at a number three point when Shikhar Dhawan returns. India will have to identify the middle-order batsmen and continue with them." 

"This is the only wrong selector, you can not depend on Jadeja (to win the match without a lower order)," Ganguly said.

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