Mumbai: Supporting former Indian skipper MS Dhoni Ex-West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding said that the wicketkeeper-batsman really wanted to win the match against England in the 2019 World Cup.
His statement came after India’s performance in the World Cup match against England last year has become a part of the debate, as all-rounder Ben Stokes questioned the intention of the Indian side in a book titled ‘On Fire’.
Stokes also said that Dhoni’s intentions were doubtful as he did not go for big shots when India still had a chance to win the match.
Holding said on his official YouTube channel, “Well, people will write anything in books these days because people are much freer with their opinions and when they are writing books, they need to make headlines many times.”
He said, “But frankly, many people who watched that game might not have come to the conclusion that Ben Stokes had reached India at the time, which was not trying to win.”
Holding said that it seemed that India did not have as much intensity they would have had if the match was a do-or-die match.
“It was not a game that India had to win, but I don’t think anyone could say that there was a team strategy to lose the game. I watched that game and it appeared to me as if India weren’t putting up their 100 percent but I realized it was not the case when the expression on MS Dhoni’s face told me that he desperately wanted to win, so I do not think it was a team decision to not try to win,” the former Windies pacer said.
“I don’t think they went with the same intensity of desire to win the game, say if it was a do or die situation. If it was, we would have seen a different game,” he said.
Stokes noted Dhoni’s lack of intent in his book ‘On Fire’, after which Pakistan fans began to say that India intentionally lost the match and thwarted their neighbors.
However, Stokes clarified that he never said that India deliberately lost and some people were twisting his words.