Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly was surprised by Indian team management’s decision and Coach decision to pushing MS Dhoni far down the order.
He felt that Dhoni would have been a perfect partner to guide a youngster like Rishabh Pant in the middle.
“India, who were outstanding in the group stages made a few surprising decisions in this game. Leaving Dhoni for so late, when three wickets are lost early was a blunder. They needed to consolidate and if anyone was a perfect foil to young Rishabh at that stage, it would have been Dhoni,” Ganguly
“India needed the exuberance of youth and the calmness of Dhoni at that stage to hold the innings together and rebuild and that was a mistake by the team. Also, the omission of Mohammad Shami was tough to understand,” he added.
Saurav Ganguly felt that Indian middle order was exposed very early after the loss of Indian top order.
“Right throughout the World Cup and maybe even before, Indian fans’ biggest fear was what would happen if we lose both Rohit and Kohli early? Especially with (Shikhar) Dhawan injured. Well, that’s exactly what happened in this crucial tie. Losing three wickets with five runs on the board was too much for India to recover from,”.
Ganguly has felt that the Indian team has failed terribly in terms of handling pressure on a big semi-final stage.
“Knockouts are knockouts, the equations are different, the pressure is different and all the form of the group stage means nothing. Who knows it better than India one day after that long semifinal in Manchester. India hadn’t lost in Manchester since 2015 but was below their best in the very important game. The pressure is always enormous in a semifinal and at times more than a final,” he felt.
Former Skipper was impressed by the Indian Bowling attack which led by Bumrah.
“New Zealand played differently when they batted. They were put under consistent pressure by a very good Indian bowling unit, a unit which was just pure quality led by the very best, Bumrah. When they finished at 239, even the fiercest supporters of the Kiwis felt that this Indian batting lineup would chase it down with ease and the only case they had in support was the scoreboard pressure in big games,” he wrote.