Shoaib Akhtar asks fans not to bash Team India, says Men in Blue did well in World Cup 2019
Former Pakistan quick wanted Dhoni to dive to save his run out.
Updated - Jan 12, 2020 8:15 pm
The hope of Asia regaining the World Cup was dashed on Wednesday with India losing to New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ongoing edition in England and Wales. The Men in Blue were the only Asian team in the last four, as it was in 2015, and they failed to make the final yet again. The same had happened in the 2016 World T20 as well and on that occasion, too, India had lost in the semi-final to eventual champions West Indies.
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, who was backing India to win the tournament as an Asian side, spoke out after Virat Kohli’s men lost in the semi-final at Old Trafford by 18 runs. Kane Williamson’s side won the toss and elected to bat and the Kiwis put up a total of 239 for 8 in 50 overs. In reply, India had a disastrous start at 5 for 3 and could manage 221 at the end despite the heroics from Ravindra Jadeja (77 off 59) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (50 off 72).
Akhtar appeared in yet another Youtube video after the India-New Zealand clash and asked the fans not to bash the Men in Blue for he felt they played remarkably well in the tournament. India won seven out of their 10 matches played in the tournament while lost two. One of their games, which was also against New Zealand, was washed out.
Dhoni should have dived to save the run-out, feels Akhtar
Akhtar particularly praised Dhoni who he called a “legend” but said that the wicket-keeper-batsman should have dived to avoid getting run-out. Dhoni was the remaining hope for India in the dying overs but one direct hit from Martin Guptill had ended his run and with that, India’s. “Dhoni is absolutely a legend, you are a great batsman and you are a great brand ambassador for the team. But you should have gone for a dive,” the 43-year-old said, adding that team India was “so close yet so far” in the tournament.
About Jadeja, Akhtar said his dismissal was unfortunate as he felt the ball in which he got out could have been hit for the maximum. “Unfortunately the ball went up in the air and Jadeja was caught,” he said. Jadeja and Dhoni came together with India reeling at 92 for 6 and added 116 runs for the seventh wicket to revive the hopes. Akhtar criticised the other Indian batters, saying they played “very poorly” and got out in balls that were of little worth.
“I have a message for Indian fans. Your team played really well and I congratulate them for the performance. They made it to the semi-finals and it is unfortunate that they could not enter the final. Please give them credit…Do not hate your team and do not bash your team,” Akhtar said.