In today’s modern day cricket, no cricketer is as calm and composed as former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Over the years, Dhoni has been a reliable asset in seeing his team through in run chases, at times even when its come to defending a small total. However, England all-rounder Ben Stokes had a different take on Dhoni’s approach in their World Cup fixture against India.
In a high-scoring game, England had left India to chase a target of 338 runs which India fell short by 31 runs, leaving Dhoni unbeaten. Englishman Stokes feels there was no intent from the Indian captain in chasing the score, which as per his capabilities (and along with partner Kedhar Jadhav) could have been achieved. The England all-rounder had criticized Dhoni’s performance in his autobiography – ‘On Fire: My Story of England’s Summer to Remember‘. “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. Even with a dozen balls remaining, India could still have won. 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 added.
Stokes’ remarks though hadn’t gone down too well with both few cricketers as well as ardent Dhoni fans. Sreesanth was one among those to hit back at Stokes. In a recent interview on social media, Sreesanth expressed of how upsetting it is to comment on a player of Dhoni’s caliber. He even took a dig at the England all-rounder, asking him to come up against Dhoni and try to get the better of him. Things just seem to have heated up here the next time we see Dhoni vs Stokes!
Warning the England all-rounder that Dhoni ‘does not forget things easily’, he also said that Stokes should be careful whenever he next faces the former India skipper on the cricket field.
“For Ben Stokes, I will only say that you should pray that Dhoni does not play against you in the future. Dhoni does not forget things easily,” Sreesanth said during a Live session.
“I wish Stokes all the best for whenever he faces Dhoni again, be it IPL or an England vs India match. You must be earning in millions now, Dhoni Bhai will end your career.” Sreesanth added.
Sreesanth though wasn’t the only one to hit back at Stokes. Michael Holding too defended Dhoni’s approach in that run chase. “Well, people will write anything in books these days, because people are a lot more free with their opinions and when they are writing books, they need to be making headlines at times.”, the West Indian added. Well, it’s a rare association of Dhoni and a ‘lack of intent shown’.