India lost the second ODI at Lords on Saturday evening by 86 runs after suffering a batting collapse that allowed England to tie the 3 match ODI series 1-1. There were a number of reasons why India slumped to such a huge defeat and will want to put this failure behind them as quickly as they can. The one thing that will stand out unfortunately for the Indians and former captain MS Dhoni was the boos that echoed through the Mecca of Cricket.
Dhoni Booed For Lack Of Trying
India were under pressure from ball one trying to chase down a massive total of 322. India lost their first three wickets quickly and captain Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina tried to steady the ship and launch a comeback. When Kohli fell, MS Dhoni walked to the crease with the score at 140-4 and 23 overs remaining.
MS Dhoni decided to play a slow game and showed no urgency in upping the strike rate and chasing down the runs. He was the senior partner at the crease and his leadership rubbed off on the other batsmen who followed his lead and made for some bored cricket. This did not go down well with the crowd who wanted India to go down fighting.
MS Dhoni went into the record books for becoming just the 2nd wicketkeeper to cross 10,000 runs in ODI. However, those records were not appreciated by the crowd who continued to boo the former Indian skipper. MS Dhoni lost his wicket on 37 and he finished with a strike rate of just 62.
Indian Team Defends MS Dhoni
The Indian team led by skipper Kohli were quick to defend MS Dhoni and did their best to explain what Dhoni was trying to do at the crease.
In a statement, Kohli said “The idea was to take the innings deep. He has the experience but sometimes it doesn’t come off. We totally believe in him. “It’s unfortunate that people jump to conclusions quickly. When he does well, people call him the best finisher ever, and when things do not go well, people pounce on him”.
Leg spinner Y Chahal who attended the post-match interview also came to Dhoni’s defense and said that Dhoni played the way he did in order to make sure that India survived the 50 overs.
The best way for India to get over the bitter taste left in their mouths from this defeat and booing is to win the third ODI which takes place at Leeds on 17th July and win the ODI series.