Shoaib Akhtar blasts MS Dhoni for his ‘really really slow’ batting against Afghanistan
Dhoni was criticised for scoring only 28 runs off 52.
Updated - Jan 6, 2020 6:16 pm
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is a busy man this World Cup, even though he is not playing. The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ is presenting pre- and post-match analyses for all games and teams and opined that India dodged a bullet in their game against Afghanistan in Southampton on Saturday. India had a poor outing with the bat after winning the toss and managed only 224 for 8. Their bowlers, however, came back hard at the Afghans to win the match by 11 runs.
It was quite an anti-climax at the Ageas Bowl as far as India’s batting is concerned. After having slammed 300-plus totals against established sides like Australia and Pakistan, the Men in Blue struggled to score against Afghanistan’s spinners. While Rohit Sharma made one-off 10 balls and KL Rahul 30 off 53, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was criticised for scoring only 28 runs off 52. He added 57 runs with half-centurion Kedar Jadhav but took 14 overs to do it.
Even former maestro Sachin Tendulkar was not happy with India’s slow batting and asked Dhoni to show more positive intent with the willow. Tendulkar’s one-time rival on the ground Akhtar also harboured a similar thought about India’s 37-year-old wicket-keeper-batsman who is playing his final World Cup.
Indian batting a bit exposed
“India played very well but not too much as they brought Afghanistan back into the game. Indian batting except Virat Kohli was really bad. They miserably failed in spite of having such a famed batting lineup. MS Dhoni played really really slow. I can understand that there was a bit of awkward bounce in the wicket but still the amount of dots he played cost India. Indian batting was a bit exposed. But India dodged the bullet and it was a good wake-up call for them,” Akhtar said in the video.
The former cricketer also said that had India lost the match, “a lot of speculations and false news would have started to flow” which is unwanted. “There would have been a number of question marks over their performance because people are waiting out there to make headlines with different stories. I don’t want to go into the details but you know what I mean,” he said.
It might be mentioned here that Akhtar stood by India when the Men in Blue were accused of playing on manipulated wickets to win in the World Cup.
India came back a superior side after the interval with all five bowlers doing their bit to defend the total. Mohammed Shami, who was playing his first match of the World Cup in the place of an injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar, accomplished a hat-trick to pick up four wickets. Jasprit Bumrah was adjudged the man of the match for bowling brilliantly in the death overs and picking up two timely wickets.