Martin Guptill’s bullet throw from deep backward square caught MS Dhoni inches short of the crease and snuffed out India’s last hopes of a heist. Courtesy: Screengrab

Former India skipper MS Dhoni, who has been on a self-imposed hiatus since India’s exit from the World Cup, still regrets not putting in the extra effort during the semi-final against New Zealand. In a thrilling encounter between both the sides at Old Trafford in Manchester, the wicketkeeper-batsman was run-out after completing his 50.

With 31 required in the final two overs of the 240-run chase, Dhoni started off by smashing a six to Lockie Ferguson, which left the contest wide open and also saw him saw completing his half-century. The second delivery was a dot and what happened next was surely one of the most iconic moments of the 2019 sporting calendar.

After somehow directing the ball towards short fine leg in the next delivery, Dhoni tried to sneak a double but a direct hit by Martin Guptill at the keeper’s end saw him falling short of his ground by inches. Asked to share his thoughts on the episode, the former India skipper stated that he still questions himself for not attempting a dive at that moment.

“In my first game I was run-out and this game again I was run-out. I keep telling myself why didn’t I dive. Those two inches I still keep telling myself I should have dived,” Dhoni said in an interview with India Today.

Chasing 240 on a challenging Manchester track, India started on a dreadful note. The top-three comprising KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and skipper Virat Kohli were sent packing on one run each, leaving the team hanging at 5/3 in 3.1 overs.

Rookie wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant showed some resistance in the middle but a careless drive towards mid-wicket in the 23rd over made things worse for the Men In Blue as half the side returned to the pavilion with just 71 on the board.

Winning the contest was highly unlikely but Dhoni’s 116-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja for the seventh wicket offered a glimmer of hope. Despite the required rate escalating, the duo produced a splendid fightback, which featured some brutal hitting by Jadeja and the persistence by the former skipper at the other end.

However, after Dhoni’s dismissal, the Kiwis wrapped the tail inside the next five runs as India were bundled out for 221 in 49.3 overs.

Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson also claimed that Dhoni’s run-out was a crucial moment in the contest. “We all know the game is a fine line in a number of ways. But that run-out was significant. We have seen Dhoni finish games from those similar positions on a number of occasions,” Williamson had said after the match.

Source: Indianexpress.com