It was a big moment in the match as Dhoni was looking set to unleash the big shots in a bid to take India across the finish line. Instead, New Zealand progressed to the final, after India were all out for 221
Martin Guptill (left) celebrates the wicket of MS Dhoni. Pic/AFP
Manchester: A couple of days before the semi-final against India, New Zealand coach Gary Stead was asked whether he would tinker with the opening combination since Martin Guptill had not clicked in eight games. The coach was not interested in the suggestion.
Guptill was heading for yet another failure, in his ninth World Cup game, after he was dismissed for one by Jasprit Bumrah in the fourth over. He has a run tally of 167 in the tournament. However, New Zealand persisted with the opening batsman in anticipation of that moment of brilliance from him. And it came, not while batting, but while fielding. A Lockie Ferguson bouncer forced Dhoni to tap the ball away behind square leg.
And as the veteran India wicketkeeper-batsman sprinted across for the second run, a razor sharp direct throw from Guptill caught him short of his crease. It was a big moment in the match as Dhoni was looking set to unleash the big shots in a bid to take India across the finish line. Instead, New Zealand progressed to the final, after India were all out for 221.
Veteran Ross Taylor spoke about Guptill’s brilliant effort. “He [Guptill] had a very quiet World Cup and we spoke to him about doing something on the field. He wasn’t batting as he would have liked to in the tournament and so he was also low on confidence. We had to pump him up in some way. Before the semi-final, we told him that even if you don’t score runs [in this match], you still have an opportunity if we reach the final. We went out there [on the field] and talked about doing something special, whether it is a catch or a run out. And it happened to be a run out. It has broken many hearts I suppose, but Dhoni has won them [India] many games from that situation. Once we got him, we were pretty confident of going through to the final,” said Taylor.
Catch up on all the latest T20 news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates