Team India’s 2019 World Cup Journey till knock-outs was an exceptional one except the game against England. Team India was one of the title contenders and easily cruised to knock-outs on the back of powerful bowling performances.
But it was the match against England when their bowling had an off day and they were asked to chase a steep total. The match was also crucial for their arch-rivals Pakistan as an Indian win might have saved Pakistan from being knocked-out.
In a high scoring chase, India started well as Rohit and Virat laid a strong platform before the middle order succumb to the pressure. The onus was on MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav to take India home with the asking rate climbing. But the duo preferred uncharacteristically decided to play-out the overs to keep NRR intact as India fell short by 31 runs.
After the tournament was over, England all-rounder Ben Stokes and many others have questioned the Indian approach in final overs. Ben Stokes even wrote a paragraph on the same issue in his book.
“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 Kedar Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke,” wrote Ben Stokes.
Stokes was right in questioning the approach but the things went awry when former Pakistan cricketer Sikander Bakht claimed that Stokes has written that India lost deliberately in that match to eliminate Pakistan from World Cup.
This tweet raised a number of eyebrows as a number of fans along with Stokes himself slammed Sikander for his twisted comments.
While a fan asked Sikander to show the proof where Stokes has said that India lost deliberately, Stokes went one step ahead to slam his for his awry comments. “You won’t find it cause I have never said it… it’s called “twisting of words” or “click bait” ????♂.”