India and Australia stars defend MS Dhoni after slow innings in dramatic T20 defeat

MS Dhoni was criticised by a number of Indian fans (Picture: Getty)

India bowler Jasprit Bumrah and Australia star Glenn Maxwell defended MS Dhoni after his slow innings in the first T20 in Visakhapatnam.

The Baggy Greens took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series on Monday after clinching victory by three wickets off the final ball of the match.

India could only reach 126-7 off their 20 overs with opener KL Rahul top-scoring with 50 off 36 balls.

The home side were 69-1 in the ninth over but then proceeded to lose six wickets for just 40 runs.

Australia won a final-ball thriller (Picture: Getty)

Dhoni finished unbeaten on 29 from 37 balls, with his one boundary coming in the last over of India’s innings.

‘We were trying our best,’ Bumrah said. ‘[Dhoni] was just trying to take the game deep and trying to get us to a safe total.

‘I think we were short by 15-20 runs but still, we had something that we could fight [with]. So I think that was the plan which he was trying to execute.’

Australia batsman Maxwell also defended Dhoni’s innings, saying: ‘It [farming the strike] was probably fair enough.

‘With the way the wicket was – being difficult to score for any batter, let alone a guy who is not known for his power-hitting in Chahal.

Dhoni struggled to get the ball away (Picture: Getty)

‘MS is obviously a world-class finisher and even he was finding it hard to hit the middle of the bat.

‘So, I think it was right of him to try and farm the strike. He hit a six in the last over and I think that’s the sign – he hit one six and they only got seven of the over. That shows how difficult it is.

‘If you hold MS to one boundary in the last few overs, it’s a pretty big effort.’

India will look to level the series on Wednesday in Bangalore.


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