Ben Stokes poser on India’s ‘mystifying’ World Cup chase
England all-rounder Ben Stokes was baffled by India’s run-chasing strategy during their World Cup game last year in which he found Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s approach “mystifying” and saw “no intent” from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
India were beaten by 31 runs as they failed to chase England’s massive score of 337 for 7 in the game played at Birmingham on June 30, 2019.
In his new book On Fire, Stokes has analysed each of England’s games in the World Cup. “Arguably, the way MS Dhoni played when he came in with 112 runs needed from 11 overs was even stranger. He appeared more intent on singles than sixes.
“...there was little or no intent from him (Dhoni) or his partner Kedar Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke,” Stokes wrote in his soon-to-be-published book.
He revealed that the England dressing room felt that Dhoni tried to take it deep so that the run-rate remained intact. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 42 off 31 balls but most of the runs came in the last over when the match as a contest was over.
In fact, England’s new ball bowlers Chris Wokes and Jofra Archer kept a tight leash on Rohit and Kohli as they consumed nearly 27 overs for their 138-run stand.
“The way Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli played was mystifying.
“I know that we bowled brilliantly well during this period, but the way they went about their batting just seemed bizarre.
“They allowed their team to get so far behind the game. They showed no desire to put any pressure back onto our team, content instead to just drift along, a tactic that was clearly playing into our hands,” says Stokes.