What’s the story?
One of the Jharkhand players told Indian Express, “We desperately wanted to make it into the final. It was Mahi bhai’s desire to win the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Our bowlers lacked consistency. You don’t expect such kind of bowling in a semifinal match.
“Because of poor fielding and lack of consistency in bowling, they (Bengal) were able to put up 330 runs. Dhoni bhai was not pleased with that and for the first time, I saw him so upset. You don’t expect Dhoni bhai to lose his calm. He is the one who always backs us.”
Centuries from openers Abhimanyu Easwaran and Shreevats Goswami and a quickfire knock by skipper Manoj Tiwary had helped Bengal score a sizeable total of 329. Chasing 330 was never going to be easy for the Dhoni-led side and losing three top order batsmen before reaching 100 runs added to the mounting pressure.
Saurabh Tiwary and Dhoni forged a crucial partnership to lay the ground for Jharkhand’s fightback. However, Ashok Dinda dismissed the former to bring Bengal back into the game. Jharkhand’s in-form batsman Ishank Jaggi joined his captain in the middle and for a moment it looked like Dhoni will inspire his side to a memorable victory.
But experienced spinner Pragyan Ojha got the better of Dhoni and dismissed him for 70 and Jaggi soon followed suit. The match was all but over when Dhoni got dismissed.
The heart of the matter
Through the years, Dhoni has earned a reputation for being calm and composed no matter what happens on the field. In fact, his calm demeanour was responsible for him being nicknamed as ‘Captain Cool’.
Consequently, it came as a bit of a shock for the Jharkhand players when Dhoni expressed his disappointment out loud. Winning the match would have been a huge step towards the final and Dhoni desperately wanted to do so.
Speaking about the incident Jaggi recalled that Dhoni knew that his team still had a chance if he had stayed till the end. A win meant a lot to him but the 41-run defeat upset him a lot.
Parallels from history
We do not often see Dhoni losing his cool irrespective of what unfolds on the field. However, there was this one incident when he had yelled at Yuzvendra Chahal after he missed an easy run-out opportunity. It was the 3rd T20I against England earlier in the year and Chahal had a chance to dismiss Jason Roy but failed to take it.
It is not unusual for players to get upset and express their feelings out loud. After all, they all want to win. But this is something unheard of Dhoni. Perhaps, he just wanted to win this particular match real bad.