‘When Dhoni got out, I was trying to hold back my tears’, Chahal recalls distressing World Cup exit
India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni is run out during the 2019 Cricket World Cup first semi-final between New Zealand and India at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on July 10, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
It has been over two months when India lost to New Zealand in the semifinals of the World Cup but the heartwrenching loss keeps etching the minds of Indian cricket fans to date. And above all, it will be the moment when MS Dhoni was run out.
India were chasing a below-par target of 240 runs against New Zealand but an exemplary bowling attack from the Kiwis made India fight tooth and nail before succumbing to the island nation.
In a bid to take India home, Dhoni tried his level best but failed to accomplish the goal as he lost his wicket after Martin Guptill hit the bull’s eye. The moment was too emotional for the Indian fans to see their match finisher returning home empty-handed and that the wicket had all but extinguished India’s hopes.
Chahal, who walked out to bat after Dhoni’s wicket, could add only five more runs to the total, before being the final wicket to fall, as India ended 18 runs short.
“It was my first World Cup, and when Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) got out and I was going in (to bat), I was trying to hold back my tears. It was so depressing,” Chahal was quoted by ICC.
“We played so well for nine games but suddenly we were going out of the tournament. Rain wasn’t in our hands and so it won’t be right to say anything (about the interruption). It was the first time that we really wanted to go back to the hotel as soon as possible from the ground,” he added.
Expressing his desire to bag the coveted trophy, the leg-spinner said, “I want to win at least one World Cup. I think the way we have been playing and how our team is shaping up currently, it’s a positive sign. We won in New Zealand, Australia and West Indies and if we win the T20 World Cup next year, all the noise will die down.”