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Sourav Ganguly and Nasser Hussain, two of the most astute captains of their time were in the commentary box when India were desperately looking for big hits towards the closing period of their match against England, in Edgbaston on Sunday. 
Sourav Ganguly and Nasser Hussain, two of the most astute captains of their time were in the commentary box when India were desperately looking for big hits towards the closing period of their match against England, in Edgbaston on Sunday. 
Both the two commentators were surprised as India showed no great effort in trying to chase down England's 337 ultimately falling short by 31 runs. 
 
The fact of the matter is that India needed 104 runs of 10 overs with six wickets in hands, something which is not exactly an impossible task for a modern day cricketer.
 
And specially when chasemaster Mahendra Singh Dhoni and legend in the making Hardik Pandya are in the crease, fans and pundits alike expected India to make a real dash for the target. 
 
But Hardik Pandya after a good start seemed to run out of steam. Offcourse English bowling need to be credited as they bowled to their field and as Nass said, "didn't try to get cute". They bowled a steady line which meant the onus was on India to force the issue.
 
Unfortunately no great effort was seen from Dhoni and Jadhav, who came to crease after Pandya's dismissal. Dhoni scored over a run a ball, rotating the strike freely, but rarely did he do anything extra which the required run rate of around 15 at that time warranted.
 
He ended up with 42 not out of 31 balls, something as Dada said looks good on paper but is of little use. DRS or Dhoni review system, as it is lovingly called by fans also failed to hit the mark as Dhoni dissuaded taking a review of Jason Roy for catch off Hardik Pandya's bowling. It proved to be a big moment in the match as Roy soon upped the ante which lead the foundation for 337. 
 
Coming back to Indian innnings, Dhoni's predecessor as captain, Sourav Ganguly was absolutely seething and one could clearly understand his frustration building up with the strange tactics deployed. At one point of time, Nasser Hussain asked Dada, what is the gameplan. Sourav said that there is no intent. When Dhoni casually glided a ball to get a single, Sourav said that he can't explain this approach. 
 
Nasser said that he is baffled and felt that Indian fans were right  to feel hard done by as they have spent good time and money to watch India play. 
 
Some Netizens though defended Mahi and pointed out that India started too slow and was always going to struggle in the backend.
 
Both Kohli and vice captain Rohit Sharma  also defended Jadhav and Mahi, saying that the pitch had slowed up considerably and it was extremely hard to clear the field at that time. 
 
Dhoni's batting under renewed scanner
 
With Pant now in the mix, there has been increasing questions about what exactly is MS Dhoni's utility in the team XI. The murmur that it is probably the sunset on a dazzling career only increases with each failure. Against Afghanistan, Dhoni's 28 of 52 balls failed to impress the fans and again Mahi got the ire of the Netizens and even former cricketers alike, for making no real push towards getting the target. 
 
Some speculated it may be for net run rate, others even smelled a conspiracy theory. As Sourav said, on paper, Dhoni's innings didn't look bad, but cricket is not only about what the scoreboard says. It is lot to do with the intent shown which was strangely missing from MS Dhoni's batting.
 
This is not the first time though Dhoni has played like this. As Nass recalled, it happened last year in England too and several occasions before and after also. 
 
But this being a world cup, and the clash between the number 1 and number 2 sides in the world meant, the stakes were higher and the expectations lot more. A tepid end to such an anticipated drama was the last thing on people's mind. 
 
Is Jadhav a batter or a bowler?
 
As Dhoni denied to take a single to give Jadhav the strike in the last over, Sourav Ganguly made a sarcastic statement that's Mahendra Singh Dhoni for you, he thinks only he can clear the fences. While Dhoni eventually did rotate the strike and got Jadhav in the crease, the question remained, what exactly is Jadhav in the Indian team for. Clearly MSD has no great faith in his batting and Virat Kohli isn't even giving him a bowl. So currently Jadhav is an absolute passenger in the XI, who is not bringing anything to the table. Some boos too went up in the crowd as Dhoni denied the single, aptly summing up the nature of the day for Mahi. 
 
Many netizens wondered in Jadeja with his allround skills or even Dinesh Karthik, who has a composed head and sound technique are much better bets than Jadhav who clearly looked woefully short of confidence and completely out of sorts in the big stage on Sunday.
 
Virat defends Dhoni and Jadhav
 
When Mahi and Kedar were batting, they were trying to hit (boundaries) but were not able to because of the slowness of the pitch," Rohit Sharma, who topscored for India with 102, said after the team's first loss in the tournament.
 
"Towards the end it got pretty slow. We got to give credit to the English team, they used the conditions very well."
"They mixed up their variations quite nicely and kept us guessing all through the game."
 
India captain Virat Kohli then defended Dhoni's "calculated" approach, saying the wicketkeeper-batsman was experienced enough to know the demand of the occasion.
 
Kohli defended Dhoni again on Sunday after the team's 31-run loss to the hosts.
 
"I think MS was trying really hard to get the boundary," Kohli, whose fifth half-century in a row went in vain, said at the presentation ceremony.
 
"They were just bowling good areas. We'll have to sit down and assess and improve in the next game.
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