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‘MS Dhoni at No. 7 in WC semifinal wasn’t my decision alone’: Sanjay Bangar

Notably, the move by the management to send Dhoni down the order was severely criticised and raised many eyebrows.

SNS | New Delhi |

India batting coach Sanjay Bangar has revealed that it wasn’t his decision alone to send wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni to bat at No. 7 during the World Cup semifinal against New Zealand which India lost by 18 runs.

Notably, the move by the management to send Dhoni down the order was severely criticised and raised many eyebrows.

In the first semifinal which was played over two days ( 9 and 10 July) due to rain in Manchester, India restricted the Black Caps to 239 for 8 in 50 overs. But chasing the modest 240 for a place in the final, India were blown away by the Kiwi bowlers led by Matt Henry (3 for 37) on the reserve day.

India lost four top-order batsmen for just 24 runs inside 10 overs before Ravindra Jadeja (77) and Dhoni (50) stitched 116 runs for seventh wicket to raise hopes in the Indian camp. However, effort of the duo went in vain as India fell short by 18 runs and bowed out of the competition.

“I am really flattered that people are looking at me from this angle because I am not the sole decision-making authority. Believe me, we assess and go through a lot of situations,” said Bangar in an interview to Hindustan Times.

The batting coach, who took charge in 2014 and has guided the team in 50 Tests and 119 ODIs, insisted that at the start of the World Cup campaign, specific roles were given to the batting group.

“We had also decided that we would have to be flexible in the middle order as far as No. 5, 6 and 7 were concerned because we were looking to maximise the 30-40 over slab,” he said.

“After the Afghanistan game, it was decided that Dhoni could bat a little lower down (till that point he had batted at No. 5), so that he could play post the 35th over as he could accelerate in the death overs and also take care of the lower order with his experience. So, he was slated to bat at No. 6 in the semis.

“Dinesh Karthik was promoted to No. 5 after consultations in the changing room to stem the fall of wickets and resurrect the innings and leave Dhoni, our most experienced player, to do the finisher’s job,” he added.

(With inputs from IANS)