London: On a day when he crossed the 10,000-run milestone in ODIs, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was booed by the Indian supporters at the 'Home of Cricket' for his slow batting during the team's 86-run defeat against England in the second game of the three-match series.
Dhoni was widely criticised for not showing initiative in his 37-ball 58 as India could only manage 236 in 50 overs after England posted 322 for seven. While England's Joe Root found it "surprising", India's Yuzvendra Chahal said that he was unaware about the booing incident. Before the start of the 46th over, the match was as good as over with 110 required off 30 balls.
However the crowd got restless when Dhoni failed to score off the first four balls of David Willey's over. There was booing after every dot ball, a rare occurrence considering the huge fan base Dhoni enjoys around the cricketing globe.
In fact at the end of the over, substitute fielders Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel came in with an energy drink and replacement bat, which on air commentators termed as a message to push things. Off the very first ball in the next over, Dhoni was caught at the deep mid-wicket boundary ,trying a wild heave. Chahal, who came for the post-match press conference, however said that there was no message from the dressing room for Dhoni to accelerate.
“I don't know what was said to him (when he changed bats). After Hardik was dismissed, there was only me, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav and Kuldeep. So it wasn't like there were 2-3 specialist batsmen remaining. "He hadn't batted much, so this was a chance to get a knock. If he had hit a shot earlier and got out, we couldn't have even batted all 50 overs,” Chahal said.
While it didn't concern the English team, Root did find it a bit surprising. “Yes (it was surprising), but ultimately it doesn't really concern us. We always try and judge how we approach the game and how we go about things. We try to maintain a professional approach and be as ruthless as possible. We managed to see India through by bowling them out by the end of the game. So we are looking after our own game and putting ourselves in a strong position by the end of the game,” Root said. (PTI)