KARACHI: English all-rounder Ben Stokes in his new book ‘On Fire’ has recalled his team’s win over India in the 2019 World Cup and has written that he was baffled by the batting tactics employed by Indian batsmen Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and MS Dhoni while chasing.
Stokes, the hero of the World Cup final against New Zealand was left surprised by India’s approach in the 338-run chase and said he saw “little or no intent” from Dhoni. He also termed Kohli and Rohit’s batting in the run-chase as “mystifying”.
Stokes has analyzed each of England’s games in their World Cup-winning campaign in his book. Recalling the India game, Stokes wrote how he saw no intent from Dhoni and his partner Kedar Jadhav towards the end of the run-chase. Both Dhoni and Jadhav remained not out on 42 and 12 runs respectively in the chase despite having wickets in hands.
“Arguably, the way MS Dhoni played when he came in with 112 runs needed from 11 overs was even stranger. He appeared more intent on singles than sixes. Even with a dozen balls remaining, India could still have won. There was little or no intent from him (Dhoni) or his partner Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke,” Stokes wrote.
Stokes appreciated the efforts of their bowlers but he couldn’t believe the tactics employed by Indian captain and his deputy as they batted nearly 27 overs for their 138-run stand.
“The way Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli played was mystifying. I know that we bowled brilliantly well during this period, but the way they went about their batting just seemed bizarre,” he added.
“They allowed their team to get so far behind the game. They showed no desire to put any pressure back onto our team, content instead to just drift along, a tactic that was clearly playing into our hands.”
It must be noted that India faced England in the 38th match of the World Cup at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham where they lost by 31 runs.