India had to win the 4th ODI against the West Indies on Sunday in order to clinch the series and they looked to be well in command at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua as they restricted the West Indians to just 189 from their full 50 overs.
The bowlers once again did the job for India with U Yadav and H Pandya taking 3 wickets to stop the Windies for building partnerships. K Yadav also chipped in with 2 wickets and sent down his quota of 10 overs for just 31 runs. The Indians would have expected an easy chase considering the fact that they had a superior batting line-up, even though Y Singh was rested due to a fever.
Kohli Struggles Yet Again
India got off to a poor start losing the in-form S Dhawan and the out of form V Kohli. A Rahane however continued his good run and scored a well made 60 at a strike rate of 65. D Karthik who replaced Y Singh had another opportunity in the middle-order but once again failed to deliver after falling for just 2. That brought MS Dhoni, who was the man of the match in the last ODI to the crease.
Dhoni took charge of the situation after Rahane fell to D Bishoo and just like recent times Dhoni took on a defensive mindset and went with his usual strategy of taking the run chase into the death overs. Dhoni went on to create a record that he will love to forget and that is scoring the slowest half century for India in the last 16 years. He scored 54 of a 114 balls at a strike rate of 47 and by doing so put a lot of pressure on the lower order.
Time For Dhoni To Go
K Jadhav, H Pandya and R Jadeja tried their best to increase the run rate but in doing so lost their wickets and gave the West Indians a sniff at victory and they took it gladly, bowling India out for 178 in 49.4 overs. Captain J Holder finished with 5 wickets and was given the man of the match award for his performance.
MS Dhoni watched the match slip away from Indian from the dressing room and looked lost and forlorn. Dhoni is no longer the player he used to be and is highly unlikely to find a place in the 2019 World Cup squad. If Dhoni is not willing to call time on his ODI career, it might be time for the selectors to give him a pat on the back and thank him for his services over the years.