ICC World Cup 2019 | Sending Hardik Pandya ahead of MS Dhoni was a tactical blunder, claims VVS Laxman

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ICC World Cup 2019 | Sending Hardik Pandya ahead of MS Dhoni was a tactical blunder, claims VVS Laxman

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SportsCafe Desk

07/11/2019

VVS Laxman has questioned India's decision to send MS Dhoni in at no.7, calling it a "tactical blunder". Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were also among the legends who questioned India's decision making, which resulted in them crashing out of the ongoing Cricket World Cup in England.

Questions were aplenty regarding India's team selection and tactics as the Men in Blue crashed out of the World Cup following their 18-run loss to the Kiwis. Cricketers and experts alike have specifically questioned the decision to send MS Dhoni to bat at No.7, below the likes of Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik, despite the team reeling at 5-3 at one stage. 

The legendary Indian trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman were among the people who questioned the decision, claiming Dhoni's experience would have been handy early on, and that the wicket-keeper would have helped stabilize the innings far earlier, allowing batsmen around him to play their natural game.

VVS Laxman, who is a part of the analysis panel of Star Sports, called the decision to not send Dhoni up the order as a tactical blunder, insisting that Dhoni should have batted at no.4, pointing to the 2011 World Cup Final where the former Indian skipper promoted himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh

"Dhoni should have come ahead of Pandya. It was a tactical blunder. Dhoni should have walked ahead of Dinesh Karthik. The 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," opined Laxman, speaking to the official broadcaster. 

"The question here can be, in a crunch moment like this, would you not think of promoting Dhoni with experience on his back?," questioned legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, speaking to the official broadcaster.

"Towards the end, he kept talking to (Ravindra) Jadeja and he was controlling things. Maybe instead of Hardik, Dhoni should have come up. Batting Dinesh Karthik at number 5 was slightly out of the box I felt," he further added.

Both Rishabh Pant and Pandya perished trying to take on the left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, and have come under criticism for their shot selection. Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly also batted for Dhoni's promotion, claiming Dhoni wouldn't have let Pant play such a rash shot under the situation. 

"India needed experience at that stage. If Dhoni was there when Pant was batting, he would not have allowed Pant to play that shot against the breeze. In England, it's a big factor. He would have told him to go after pacer when mid-off and mid-on is up because he is good at that," Ganguly told Star Sports.

"Dhoni should have batted up. You need that composure and not just his batting. He would not have allowed wickets to fall in the cluster. Dhoni was there when Jadeja batted. Communication is a strength. You can't have Dhoni at number seven," he further added.

The Men in Blue will next travel to West Indies in August, where they will play a full tour consisting of three T20s, three ODIs, and two tests. 

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