India’s soft middle order was exposed one more time and completely taken on the heat in the highly anticipated semi-final knock out, the match was washed on an actual day and played on a reserved day. The middle-order issue that was haunting India for so long, at last, was the reason for their World Cup exit on Wednesday.
India top three batsmen failed. With, India railing at 5 for 3, this was a rare moment. The Indian top-order has been right on the money producing moon shots every now and then, but not to be on Wednesday. The last time when both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were both out on a single-digit score was against Pakistan in the Champion’s Trophy final in 2017.
India never got a chance to play or test their middle order as the top order batsmen always played well and pushed India over the line.
But the semi-final! every young lad was having an opportunity to prove his mettle out there. Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya had an opportunity of a lifetime to take the team over the line and be the hero, but disappointment followed.
India struggling at 71 for 5 and Dhoni walked in the center. The cool mind of Dhoni and the aggression of Jadeja was all set to book India’s ticket to London for Sunday. Jadeja seemed to be a man on a mission, a warrior who had a point to prove and he was surely not in the mood of backing down, he played a blistering inning of 77 and gave India some hopes. But Jadeja mistimed one and was caught by Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson. Dhoni played 50 and got run out which was perhaps a game-changing event of the match. The World Cup dream of India was shattered to bits and pieces with Dhoni’s run out by a master class from Guptil, a mind-blowing throw who is having the campaign to forget but he will surely take this memory back with him.
The Dhoni-Jadeja pair added a 100-run partnership which was valuable and crucial at the time, but at the end of the day, it only mattered if you win. Men in blue were out of luck, as surely God was sitting in Kiwi’s dressing room. They played amazingly and have shown great temperament but all the aces were in their hands today better luck next time. So close yet so far!