India vs Australia: Jasprit Bumrah defends MS Dhoni's tactics to refuse a single in the first T20I

India lost the game by three wickets off the last ball.

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MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

India and Australia were involved in the last-ball thriller on Sunday in Vizag. The first of the two-match T20I series was won by the visitors but not before almost botching up the low chase. India made a meal of the 126-run total which they posted on the board and had almost pulled off an unlikely win. But after a close game, MS Dhoni’s tactics of refusing singles while batting with the tail came under the scanner.

Dhoni was the only recognised batsman left when the team was reduced to 100/6 after 15 overs. He had to farm the strike most of the times in order to take the game deep and make sure that India play out their full quota of 20 overs. But the veteran couldn’t middle the ball during his stay in the middle and hit only a solitary six. He remained unbeaten on 29 off 37 balls and refused as many as eight singles.

Dhoni didn’t have any option either as the likes Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are not the ones who can wield their willow and there was a chance of India getting bowled out early in that case.

Should Dhoni have taken those singles?

In the post-match press conference, when Jasprit Bumrah was asked about the missed singles by MS Dhoni, the fast bowler defended his teammate saying that plan was to take the game deep and play 20 overs. He also went on to say that Dhoni was trying to take the team to a fighting total which he did eventually looking at the way the game panned out.

“We were trying our best. We were figuring out. He was trying to take the game deep and get us to a safe total which we tried. I think we fell short by 15-20 runs but he still gave us a fighting total. We had something we could fight on so that was the plan which he was trying to execute,” Bumrah said.

Bumrah was the one who kept India in the game throughout with his bowling. He accounted for the opposition skipper Aaron Finch in the second over itself and then came back to bowl a sensational penultimate over. But his efforts went in vain as Umesh Yadav couldn’t defend 14 runs in the final over.

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