We could have lost, tie not a bad result: MS Dhoni

first_imgMS Dhoni felt that the India vs Afghanistan Super Four match of Asia Cup 2018 ending in a tie was a good result as they could have very much ended up on the wrong side of the result. Mohammad Shahzad’s 116-ball 124 had helped Afghanistan set India a challenging 253-run target but KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu’s quick and solid start made sure that despite a stutter in the final, India were in for a victory, almost.Dhoni took over as the captain of the Indian cricket team after a gap of 696 days as Rohit Sharma was rested for the inconsequential match on Tuesday in Dubai. Captaining India for 200th ODI, he could not lead India to another victory, but oversaw a classic cricket match.Dhoni therefore became only the third cricketer captain in 200 ODIs. Ricky Ponting led Australia (ICC) in 230 ODIs from 2002-2012 while New Zeland’s Stephen Fleming led in 218 ODIs from 1997-2007. On his return as India captain, Dhoni lost the toss but the decision still went his way as Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan opted to bat.Asia Cup, India vs Afghanistan: Match tied after Rashid’s last over heroicsDhoni said that Afghanistan had posted a very good total on the wicket and he was actually happy with the result.”It’s good that it’s a tie, but they played really well. The Afghanistan guys played really well. 250 was a very good score on this wicket. We could have been on the losing side because of quite a few things that didn’t go for us, so I’m happy with the result,” Dhoni said at the presentation ceremony.advertisementAsia Cup 2018, India vs Afghanistan: HIGHLIGHTS | AS IT HAPPENEDDhoni was all praise for the cricket that Afghanistan played and admitted that they had also enjoyed Afghanistan’s cricket throughout the tournament.”Their (Afghanistan’s) cricket has improved a lot. The way they have continued from the start of the Asia cup, it is commendable and we have enjoyed their cricket. It is one country that has risen through the ranks very well,” Dhoni further said.MS Dhoni captains India for 200th time in one-day internationals”They played really well. They batted extremely well too. The wicket slowed down later, but they bowled extremely well throughout the game and their fielding was tight too.”Dhoni said that India did go in the match with a handicap and didn’t have ample spinners for the kind of wicket it was. Also he said that the pacers should have kept their lines tight in the beginning.Also read – Captaining India in 200th ODI is all destiny, says MS Dhoni”I wouldn’t say we went wrong in the chase. To start off, it was like a handicap in golf. We didn’t go with a full-strength side. Not enough spinners on this wicket. The first over that a fast bowler bowls, they need to extract swing. We didn’t hit the back of a length area, and we gave away too much initially with the ball.”We got off to a very good start with the bat, but the wicket slowed down over the course of the game, so someone should have continued with the bat. Shot-selection is something that we need to work on.”Dhoni also hinted at the wrong decisions that hurt India as well, even as he did not openly mention them saying, he didn’t want to get fined.There were too particular instances of umpiring howlers when MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik were given out. Replays showed they were both not out but they could not have reviewed the decision because KL Rahul had already taken a wrong review.”There were a couple of run-outs, and a few things we can’t talk about (the incorrect LBW decisions) because I don’t want to get fined for it.”Dhoni believed it was only destiny that allowed him to captain India for the 200th ODI. Dhoni is India’s most successful captain across formats. Before Tuesday, Dhoni had led India in 199 ODIs out of which he won 110 matches and lost 74.”I was not really sure of where I am standing. I have captained 199 ODIs, so this gives me an opportunity to make it 200. It’s all destiny and I have always believed in that. It’s not in my control, once I left captainship. Good to complete 200, but I don’t think it really matters,” Dhoni had said at the toss.Shahzad’s heroic hundred, Rashid Khan’s sensational final over and Ravindra Jadeja’s steely 25, this match had it all.Rashid Khan had seven runs to defend in the last over, Jadeja hit a boundary off the second delivery of the over. While it looked like the ball had hit the ropes, the third umpire ruled it as four runs.advertisementIndia then needed 3 runs off 4 deliveries. Rashid bowled a beautiful delivery and Jadeja went for a single to leave Khaleel facing Rashid with 2 runs left off 3 balls.Khaleel Ahmed edged the ball and almost got himself hit-wicket but managed to sneak a single to get Jadeja back on strike. With a run needed off two deliveries, Rashid bowled a short ball and Jadeja mistimed the shot to send the ball straight into the hands of the only fielder in the deep.And the match ended in a tie. That is how close this match was.India will face the winner of the last Super Four match between Pakistan and Bangladesh in the final on Friday.last_img

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