Indian skipper Virat Kohli justified the team's decision of sending MS Dhoni to bat after Hardik Pandya during the semi-final clash against New Zealand at the Old Trafford stadium, Manchester. Responding to the question of a reporter during the post-match press briefing, Kohli said that MS Dhoni was given the role to play in the number seven slot, based on the game's situation.
"After the first few games, he (Dhoni) was given the role to bat at that position. When the situation is bad, then Dhoni can control the situation", said Kohli.
Dhoni played a crucial role while chasing the 240-run target set by the Kiwis, as he built an innings reviving 100 plus runs partnership with Ravindra Jadeja. While the left-handed all-rounder was on the offensive, Dhoni perfectly played the role of a supporting partner at the other end. The calm and composed Dhoni was run-out as he got to his half-century, which signaled the end of India's World Cup run.
Dhoni scored 50 off 72 balls with one six and one four at the strike rate of 69.44.
"Jaddu (Jadeja) was playing very well on the other hand, and so Dhoni's innings had to be able to balance that", said Kohli while responding to a question about Dhoni's strike rate. " I think it was important for Dhoni to hold the innings from one end while Jadeja was firing from the other", he added.
Speculations about the former skipper hanging up his boots after India's exit from the showpiece event loomed after the match, but skipper Kohli said that he nor the team was aware of what Dhoni had in mind. Responding to a reporter's question on Dhoni's future, Kohli said that the team and himself were not aware of the wicketkeeper-batsman's future plans.
New Zealand beat India by 18 runs to confirm a spot in the finals of the World Cup at Lord's, London on July 14.