Chasing a 240-run target, India fell 18 runs short to blow up their World Cup dreams despite fighting knocks from all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni (50)
Balvinder Singh sandhu
India’s 1983 World Cup-winning swing bowler Balvinder Singh Sandhu reckoned Virat Kohli & Co wilted under pressure to lose the semi-final to New Zealand in Manchester yesterday.
Chasing a 240-run target, India fell 18 runs short to blow up their World Cup dreams despite fighting knocks from all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni (50).
Thus, Team India have to return home empty-handed like they did in 2015.
“Today’s situation was the same as our 1983 World Cup final [against West Indies at Lord’s]. During our game, they [WI] lost wickets frequently and failed to handle pressure while chasing our total .
“Today, it was Kohli’s side who succumbed to pressure and 240 was an achievable score,” Sandhu told mid-day from Tunbridge Wells where he is part of the production
of the film ’83.
Sandhu gave credit to Kane Williamson & Co’s planning. “They [NZ] came up with a better plan and executed it well in the middle too. They bowled to a plan and got the Indian wickets.
“They played better cricket than us; they deserved to win. India should have won this game. It was not difficult to score runs, because Dhoni and Jadeja brought us into the game. We failed to get a good start and the early blows affected our performance.
“It was a big setback as all the top order batsmen got out early. But Jadeja played a brilliant knock and Dhoni played his role,” said Sandhu.
However, Sandhu wanted to see the experienced Dhoni being sent up the order instead of Hardik Pandya, who occupied the crease after coming in at 24 for four post Dinesh Karthik’s dismissal in the 10th over.
“Dhoni was the only batsman who could have handled it better and sensibly by guiding young [Rishabh] Pant. Dhoni is the most intelligent cricketer in this team.
“Why should we run him down? He played his role brilliantly by taking this game to the 50th over. He did his job,” said Sandhu, 62.