MS Dhoni plays it safe while commenting about umpiring howlers that became the talking point of India’s tied ODI vs Afghanistan
In the end it was a tie, a result both teams would not be happy with as they had their chances to win the game. Even without in-form openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, India should have beaten Afghanistan in the Asia Cup on Tuesday. But it was not to be as Ravindra Jadeja chose to play an aerial shot rather than tap the ball for the winning run.
Two umpiring howlers, a couple of run-outs and poor shot selection cost India dear after they were at cruising at 127 for 1 in pursuit of the 253-run target. The foremost reason were the two howlers by West Indian umpire Gregory Braithwaite. He adjudged stand-in skipper MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik leg before when the ball was clearly drifting down the leg-side.
India could have overcome the howlers but for KL Rahul, who injudiciously wasted the only DRS when he was plumb leg-before playing a needless reverse sweep. As a result, when the DRS was really needed, it was not available.
Dhoni, who was captaining India for the 200th time in ODIs, summaried the match by saying: “I wouldn’t say we went wrong [totally]. It was like a game of golf because we started with a handicap as we had rested our main players. It was very important for the [inexperienced] fast bowlers to fall back to the back of a length area when there was no swing. We lost five to six overs there. Shot selection is something we could have done better in.
“And there were a couple of run-outs and a couple of things I don’t want to talk about because I don’t want to get fined. A tie isn’t bad after all, as we could have been on the losing side.” Dhoni was full of praise for Afghanistan. “I think their cricket has gone up a lot. They’ve continued playing right from the start of the Asia Cup. It’s been commendable. They’re the one country that have risen through the ranks,” Dhoni said.
Afghanistan are a very good bowling unit. They have three quality spinners in Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammed Nabi who can tie the batsmen in knots. That’s what happened to India as they played injudicious strokes to cast their wickets away. Afghan captain Asghar Afghan said: “Today’s pitch was good for us because it was a spinning wicket. Our spinners were good. When you tie with a team like India, it’s like winning. They usually chase any total quite easily. It is good for the fans as well.”
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