It has been a few weeks since the all-rounder of England cricket team, Ben Stokes, created a stir on social media after, in his book he claimed that he found the approach of the Indian skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma as “mystifying”. Besides this, Ben Stokes also claimed that MS Dhoni showed “no intent” during the run chase. He wrote:
“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,”
Ben Stokes’ statements started a new debate, with many cricketers and cricket pundits giving their opinions on the same. Recently, the Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has also voiced his opinion on the same. Recently, during a video conference organized by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), he questioned Team India’s intent during the ICC World Cup 2019.
While he questioned the intent, however, Hafeez didn’t blame team India for losing the game intentionally. He said:
“Ask any cricket fan; everyone will say intent to play with the spirit was not there. I don’t know about the results and who went out because of that. We played good cricket, and we were out because of our small mistakes. So I can’t blame any result for that,”
He further stated that as a fan he didn’t see the match-winning intent and felt bad for the sport. He said:
“But as a fan, if I see the match, I did not see the match-winning intent. I felt bad for the sport. The encounter factor was missing where both teams were playing to win. The mistakes we made, we failed to tick a few boxes in the 2019 World Cup. But as a fan, that is my opinion about that game,”