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    SPORTS World Cup semi-final: Ravi Shastri defends sending in Dhoni at No. 7...

    World Cup semi-final: Ravi Shastri defends sending in Dhoni at No. 7 amid criticism from senior players

    Shastri also praised Dhoni’s composure under the difficult situation.

    New Delhi: After facing criticism from several senior cricketers for sending in Mahendra Singh Dhoni at No. 7, team India’s coach, Ravi Shastri has defended the decision.

    In an interview to The Indian Express, Shastri said: “It was a team decision. Everyone was in with it — and it was a simple decision, too.”

    He said that Dhoni’s experience was required later in the innings.

    “He is the greatest finisher of all times and it would have been criminal to not make use of him in that way. The whole team was clear on it,” he said.

    Shastri also praised Dhoni’s composure under the difficult situation.

    “Let me tell you, if not for that unfortunate run-out, I think he had his calculations going inside his head. Which ball to hit, how much to keep for (James) Neesham’s last over. You could see his brain was ticking. He wanted to do it so desperately and it was clear on his face when he came back to the dressing room,” he said

    Shastri’s response comes after several former players, like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, the decision of sending in Dhoni at No. 7.

    Ace batsman Tendulkar, who was a part of the winning World Cup squad in 2011, had expressed his disappointment with the batting order.

    “The question here can be, in a crunch moment like this, would you not think of promoting Dhoni with experience on his back? Towards the end he kept talking to (Ravindra) Jadeja and he was controlling things,” Tendulkar said.

    Former captain Ganguly also echoed similar sentiments.

    “Dhoni should have batted up. You need that composure and not just his batting. He would not have allowed wickets to fall in cluster. Dhoni was there when Jadeja batted. Communication is strength. You can’t have Dhoni at number seven,” Ganguly told official broadcaster Star Sports.”

    Former player VVS Laxman called Pandya coming ahead of Dhoni a ‘tactical blunder,’

    “Stage was set for Dhoni. In 2011 final also, he promoted himself up to bat at number four ahead of Yuvraj Singh and won the World Cup,” rued Laxman.

    Also Read: World Cup 2019 final: England, New Zealand a win away from immortality

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