After topping the league table, Team India's dream run in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 came to an end by an 18-run loss against New Zealand at the Old Trafford in Manchester on Wednesday. The match which went into the reserve day as play was not possible due to rain on Tuesday.
The Indian bowlers did a tremendous job of restricting the Kiwi batsmen to 239/8 in their 50 overs. However, the Men In Blue's reply got off to a disastrous start as their top three batsmen Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli returned to the pavilion early as India were reeling at 5/3. When the two-time winners were staring down the barrel at 92/6, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja stitched in a 116-run seventh wicket stand and took India to the cusp of victory.
After Jadeja's dismissal for 77, the onus was on MSD to take his team over the line like he had done on that memorable night at the Wankhede Stadium in 2011. In the penultimate over bowled by Lockie Ferguson, he hit a six and kept India's hopes alive. However, a sharp throw from Martin Guptill in the following delivery ensured that there was no fairytale ending as the Virat Kohli-led side were knocked out of the tournament. When a dejected looking MS Dhoni was seen heading back, it seemed like it will be the last time he would be seen in Indian colours.
There are requests coming in from everywhere that the 2011 World Cup-winning should not retire anytime soon as he still has a lot of cricket left in him. Among them is one of the best lyricists and screenwriters, Javed Akhtar. The veteran screenwriter and Parliamentarian took to Twitter and wrote that Mahi is totally dependable and trustworthy as a wicket-keeper batsman or a wicket-keeper and that skipper Virat Kohli s graceful enough to accept that Dhoni’s understanding of the game is an advantage for the team . Akhtar also added that the 38-year-old still has a lot of cricket left in him and that there is no need to talk about retirement.
Read Javed Akhtar's tweet here:
Earlier, legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar had also requested Mahendra Singh Dhoni to continue playing for India.