England all-rounder Ben Stokes’ new book ‘On Fire’ has emerged as a storm before its release. His questioning of the Indian team’s intent to win the game against England in the World Cup last year is making the headlines. Former Pakistan cricketer Sikandar Bakht even claimed that according to Stokes, India deliberately lost that game to knock the Men in Green out of the World Cup.
Ahead of that game, Pakistan needed to India to win against England to have more than a chance to reach the semi-final of the World Cup 2019. But Virat Kohli’s men lost the game by 32 runs and many were left scratching the heads after seeing the way MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav batted. The duo never went after the bowlers batting the final over despite the required rate climbing to 14.
Dhoni, expectedly, was criticized and even Stokes, in his book, mentioned that the whole England team was surprised that he didn’t play the shots. The former West Indies pacer, Michael Holding has given his opinion on the matter and reckons a lot of people write anything in their books nowadays as they have more freedom to express themselves.
In a video on his Youtube channel, Holding said, “Well, people will write anything in books these days, because people are a lot freer with their opinions and when they are writing books, they need to be making headlines at times. But, to be honest, a lot of people watching that game perhaps wouldn’t have arrived to the same conclusion that Ben Stokes arrived at that India were not trying to win.”
However, Holding mentioned that he also felt that team India wasn’t giving its 100% in the game, but he felt different after looking at MS Dhoni’s face. Indirectly responding to Pakistan’s claims of India deliberately losing the game, the former pacer said that India might not have played with the same intensity as they would’ve played in a do or die game.
Holding responded, “I watched that game and it appeared to me as if India weren’t putting up their 100%, but I realized it wasn’t the case when the expression on MS Dhoni’s face told me that he desperately wanted to win, so I don’t think it was a team decision to not try to win. If they had to win that game, we would’ve seen a big more intensity.”