Dhoni, Jadeja, Pant: 7 Things Virat Revealed in Post-Match PC
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
In a big upset at the ICC World Cup, the top-ranked ODI side in the world and league-stage toppers India were knocked out by World no 3 New Zealand in the semi-final on Wednesday, 10 July. After they restricted the Kiwis to 239/8, the Men in Blue were bowled for 221 in 49.3 overs in a match that was forced to be pushed another day after rain played spoilsport at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
At the post-match press conference, India captain Virat Kohli spoke about topics ranging from MS Dhoni’s retirement to Ravindra Jadeja’s performance and Rishabh Pant’s shot selection. Here’s a look at the top seven.
1. Why MS Dhoni Was Batting at No 7
With the top three of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli were dismissed for 1 each, India were reduced to 5 for 3, and then further to 24 for 4 as it chased 240. However MS Dhoni only came in to bat after India’s fifth wicket of Rishabh Pant fell. When asked why the former skipper wasn’t sent in earlier, Virat said:
2. Dhoni’s Retirement Plans
Amid speculation that MS Dhoni may retire after India's exit from the World Cup, Kohli was asked if the former skipper had spoken to him or the team about his feature.
But, Kohli just said, “No he hasn’t told us anything as of now”.
3. ‘Didn’t Say Anything to Jadeja Before He Went In to Bat’
Earlier this week, an angry Jadeja had taken to Twitter to lash out at Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who had called him a "bits and pieces player".
Making an obvious reference to Manjrekar’s remark, Kohli said, “I don’t think we had to say anything to Jadeja after what happened over the last one week. He was quite ready to just get on to the park, to be honest. And you saw the passion with which he played, we’ve seen it in Test cricket a few times, and he has some three triple hundred in first-class cricket. So the talent has always been there".
“In my watching Jadeja for 10 years, this according to me, was his best knock because of the amount of pressure and the stage we were at. We were almost out of the tournament, and then he produces that. He was really motivated.”
4. ‘Team India Sad, Not Devasted’
India topped the league stage with 7 wins in 9 matches, and hence after being knocked out of the ICC World Cup in the semis, Virat said the team was sad but not devastated.
“I don’t think I’d like to break things down immediately, but in time we’ll have to sit down and analyse where we went wrong and the things that we could have done right, particularly in this game.”
5. ‘NZ’s First Spell Made All the Difference’
The Kiwi bowlers dominated from word go, dismissing the Indian top three in no time before getting Dinesh Karthik out. And Virat said that those first 40 minutes of India’s innings changed the game.
I think the game pretty much changed in those first 40 minutes when we were batting and, as I said in the post-match, New Zealand deserve a lot of credit because they put up a great display of how to bowl with the new ball and they had perfect line and lengths and forced us to sort of make errors, if any, or bowl good deliveries to us. So, yeah, the pressure created was immense in those first 40, 45 minutes and, when you lose three wickets for six, it is very difficult to come back into the game. Still, I think our effort was commendable but, yeah, that first spell made all the difference.”Virat Kohli
6. Rishabh Pant Will Learn From His Mistakes
Rishabh Pant is already regretting his poor shot-selection and will grow into a mature batsman with time, the India skipper said backing the young batsman, facing flak for throwing away his wicket in the semifinal.
Citing his own example, Kohli said he too committed a lot of avoidable mistakes during the early days of his career and hoped Pant will also learn.
“He (Pant) is an instinctive player and did well to overcome that situation and string a partnership with Hardik (Pandya). I think the way they played after the loss of three wickets, four wickets rather, was quite commendable. I am sure he will reflect on it and he will come out stronger.”Virat Kohli
Pant had done all the hard work to steady the innings after the team was reeling at 24 for four. He was well set, batting at 32 but got out while attacking spinner Mitchell Santner.
"He's still young. I made many errors when I was young in my career and he will learn. He will look back and think yes, he could have chosen a different option in that situation and he realises that already," Kohli strongly came to the youngster's defence
"So all these guys have a lot of pride and passion to play for their country and they are the ones who feel the most disappointed when a mistake happens. From the outside it looks like it was an error but the person who makes it, trust me, they are the ones who suffer the most with it."
7. Could Dhoni Have Scored Faster?
For Dhoni, coming in to bat at 71 for 5, it was not easy to accelerate straightaway and it needed a rebuilding which he did alongside Ravindra Jadeja. Asked if he felt the lower-order could have scored faster, Kohli said, "Well, look, it's always, you know, a safer option to look at it from outside and say, 'Maybe this could have happened' but I think today he was batting with Jadeja and there was only Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) to follow after. So he had to hold one end together in my opinion".
"Jadeja was playing so well and you needed a solid partnership and to get a 100-run partnership from that situation, I think it had to be the right balance of one guy holding an end (Dhoni) and Jadeja playing the way he did. His knock was outstanding," the skipper explained the rationale behind Dhoni's approach.