India's 2011 World Cup Hero Yuvraj Singh said on Thursday that he was surprised with the Indian team management's decision to send the experienced campaigner MS Dhoni rather late in the batting order at No.7 during the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
Chasing 240 in a rain-affected match, pre-tournament favourites India lost a cliffhanger to the Kiwis and were ousted from the showpiece event.
Yuvraj Singh, who did not play any more 50-over World Cups after his 2011 heroics, said he was taken aback by India's decision to send MS Dhoni as late as No. 7.
"I was very surprised that MS came in to bat at No. 7. I felt that he should have batted higher being the most experienced. I don't know what the team management thought. Anyways it's done now," said Yuvraj.
Matt Henry and Trent Boult had rocked the Indian top-order. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik were dismissed inside the first 10 overs of the inning and India were reduced to 24 for 4.
But in a move that stunned the cricket world, an inexperienced Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, who had played only 3 innings in the 2019 World Cup before the semi-final, were tasked with steering the chase at a critical point.
MS Dhoni walked in at No.7 and with Ravindra Jadeja 116-run stand to almost pull off a sensational victory for India but in the end, they fell short by 18 runs.
Yuvraj Singh came out hard at the for not sorting out the No.4 problem. He said the captain and the coach should have realized it was a critical position and questioned the rationale behind using the inexperienced Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar up at No.4.