Stupid to call for heads of India players over World cup exit: Gautam Gambhir – Times of India
NEW DELHI: After a table-topping run through to the semi-finals of the 2019 ICC World Cup, India found themselves at the receiving end when it mattered the most and came second against New Zealand’s smart cricket to bow out of the tournament. It was a defeat that was hard to digest but to take it as far as calling for the heads of Indian players is a bit too much, according to former India opener Gautam Gambhir.
Sending MS Dhoni at No.7 was a team decision, says Ravi ShastriDefending what looked like a below-par total of 239 runs, Kiwi pacers reduced India to 5/3 and then 24/4 before Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya started a fightback that took a match-winning shape under Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni (50) in a sixth-wicket stand of 116.
But the fall of Jadeja’s wicket, followed by Dhoni’s run out, brought India crashing down to fall 18 runs short.
“India will be disappointed by the way their campaign has ended. But to call for the heads of the players is being stupid,” Gambhir wrote in his column for The Times of India on Sunday.
The Indian think-tank’s decision to send Dhoni in to bat at No. 7 drew the most attention post the painful defeat. While many believe the result could have been different had Dhoni been sent up the order, coach Ravi Shastri has said that it was the team’s collective decision.
However, Gambhir reckoned it’s something that needs to be looked at in India’s next ODI series, which will be on the tour of West Indies next month.
“There is no need to change anything except re-look at Dhoni’s batting position come the next ODI series,” the World T20 and ODI World Cup winner mentioned in his column.
He said that young guns like Pant and Pandya need “mentoring” to become better cricketers as they are too “precious” to lose.
“Trust guys like Pant and Pandya; they need mentoring as they are precocious talents,” Gambhir wrote.
He was quick to point out the case of Ambati Rayudu, who was overlooked as replacement when Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar were ruled out due to injuries. It followed Rayudu’s unexpected decision to retire from the game.
“We have lost lots of good hands like Ambati Rayudu due to knee-jerk reactions. Let us not indulge in lounge-room chats over snapping careers of cricketers,” Gambhir signed off.