London: MS Dhoni was heavily criticised by fans and experts after his sluggish knock of 28 runs off 52 balls against Afghanistan on Saturday. The veteran wicket-keeper batsman settled down well and was looking to accelerate when he was stumped off a delivery from Rashid Khan. India managed to win the close encounter by 11 runs despite posting a low-key total of 224 runs.
Dhoni has found support from former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, who has backed the 37-year-old to come out good with the bat in India’s upcoming World Cup games. Ganguly said Dhoni remains a classy batsman despite his poor form at the moment and will prove his critics wrong by the end of the touranament in England and Wales.
On a tricky track at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Southampton on Saturday, Dhoni came out to bat with India at 122/3 after Vijay Shankar’s dismissal in the 27th over. Virat Kohli, who played a brilliant knock of 67 runs off 63 balls, departed in the 31st over, increasing the pressure on Dhoni. The wicket-keeper batsman then added a 57-run stand with Kedar Jadhav (52 off 68 balls) who also got bashed for his slow knock.
However, Ganguly believes Dhoni will bounce back soon and he should not be judged on the basis of one game. “At the end of the day, MSD is a very good batsman and he will definitely prove that in this year’s World Cup 2019 as well despite his sticky form against Afghanistan. It’s just one match,” said Ganguly, as quoted by DNA.
Dhoni has not had many opportunities with the bat so far in the World Cup and has scored 90 runs in four innings for the Men in Blue, who are currently unbeaten in the tournament bagging four wins in their first five games. Dhoni will be hoping to respond to his critics with the bat when India take on West Indies in their upcoming clash at Old Trafford in Manchester on Thursday.