After team India was knocked out of the tournament, the whole nation was downhearted. The men in blue fell 18 runs short from booking its ticket to the finals. After the match was concluded, a round of criticism took a jaunt, people criticized Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri’s decisions in the World Cup Semifinal. People criticized the team’s think tank for sending MS Dhoni late into the field. Amid criticism, former Pakistani lethal fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has come in open support for the Indian captain and its team.
India’s loss breaks millions of hearts
Starting off with the game, Indian bowlers were dominating the Blackcaps by giving away fewer runs, but Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor built up a crucial partnership to take their team total to a dependable 239 runs. India while batting on the second day after a washout, struggled to hold themselves with the swinging deliveries. New Zealand bowlers took out Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul cheaply.
All hopes were with the middle order batsmen who were not that great in the entire tournament. With Dinesh Karthi given an opportunity against Kedhar Jadhav, failed to put up his best. It was Dhoni and Jadeja who took their partnership for 100 runs giving team India a ray of hope. But in the end, India eventually fell short of the target by 18 runs and got knocked out of the tournament. The team was criticized by the fans in many ways, it could be the decision of taking Karthik over Kedhar, Shami’s exclusion in the team, and not sending Dhoni in the earlier batting order. Fans from all over the country were upset with the team’s commitment to the game.
Akhtar Backs Kohli
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar said India should be proud of the way they played at ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 despite their campaign ending in the semi-final with a defeat to New Zealand. He also disagreed with the criticism made on Virat Kohli and team management. He said that Virat is a great player, he has many times single-handedly won games for his team. He said, “Unreasonable criticism of Virat Kohli, it is not acceptable. The reason for this is that he has been a great player, he won many games (for India).”
“Virat Kohli has made India win so many matches after coming to bat at one down and he is a great player. Rohit Sharma is also a great player. After Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out, the pressure was on him. Although Rohit Sharma performed, he cannot score a hundred in each match. Virat Kohli, as a human, can only perform at the best of his ability but he cannot perform in every game. There was a lot of pressure due to which they collapsed. But sudden criticism to Virat Kohli and blaming him for everything is not fair,” he said.
Akhtar praised Dhoni
He also praised the veteran wicket kipper MS Dhoni, he said “Dhoni is an absolute legend. He is a great ambassador for the game. Till the time he was there, it looked like he would win the game for India. However, he was unfortunate and couldn’t take India to the finals.”
“I think it was Dhoni’s last match. He should take an exit now in a proper way. He has done well for India and now it is time (to retire). I think he himself should think whether BCCI will remove him or he will himself make an exit. He should make his decision himself because he is a good player and a good human as well. I do not want anyone making decisions for him,” Akhtar said.