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Is MS Dhoni changing nationalities? If he does, we will consider him for New Zealand team: Kane Williamson
7/11/2019 12:46:52 PM
Manchester

MS Dhoni had been under the pump throughout the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign as questions were constantly raised over strike rate in the middle overs. However, the batting great nearly pulled off yet another chase that looked improbable before he walked into bat, this time in the semi-final of the World Cup against New Zealand in Manchester.

Dhoni hit a well-calculated fifty and stitched a 106-run stand for the 7th wicket with Ravindra Jadeja as India went from 92 for 6 to 208 for 7 in their chase of 240 in the 1st semi-final of World Cup 2019. New Zealand paces Matt Henry and Trent Boult jolted the Indian top-order, removing India's top 3 -- KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli -- cheaply on the reserve day of the rain-affected semi-final.

Dhoni though gave India hopes with his nonchalant approach to the chase. Dhoni and Jadeja nearly took India home but the scoreboard pressure and the early damage done by the New Zealand pacers proved too much in the end.

MS Dhoni came close to finishing yet another game for India but a section of the cricket fraternity did question the wicketkeeper-batsman's approach to the chase in the death overs. Dhoni was happy taking the singles and giving the strike to Ravindra Jadeja who hit a valiant 77 from 59 balls.

When asked about the criticism Dhoni has had to deal with, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, talked up the India wicketkeeper's experience.

"He is not eligible to play for New Zealand," Kane Williamson said.

"Is he looking to change nationalities? Because we will consider that selection if we have to!

"He’s a world-class player. Had I been the India captain? Yeah, his experience at his level and in these occasions is so important and his contribution today and yesterday, but throughout this campaign, it was extremely, extremely important. That partnership he was involved in with Jadeja who came in and hit the ball better than anybody in both teams was very, very valuable and he’s a world-class cricketer."

Kane Williamson also conceded MS Dhoni's run out in the 49th over proved to be the difference between a final berth and an heartbreaking exit in the semi-final. Dhoni was run out by Martin Guptill who came with a brilliant direct hit from the deep.

"We all know the game is a fine line in a number of ways. But that run-out was significant. We have seen Dhoni finish games from those similar positions on a number of occasions," Williamson said.

"It was a tough surface so nothing promised but naturally to dismiss Dhoni in whatever fashion is extremely important, but for a direct hit run-out very similar to Jadeja's I think was a big moment in the game," the New Zealand captain added.
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