ICC CWC\'19: \'You can never underestimate Dhoni\', says Liam Plunkett
Birmingham: England fast bowler Liam Plunkett on Monday came in support of MS Dhoni and said one can never underestimate the India wicket-keeper batsman.
Dhoni has been facing severe criticism for his baffling batting approach against England in the World Cup match at Edgbaston on Sunday.
"I just think in the next game he (Dhoni) can go smashing. I think you can never underestimate Dhoni. His talent stands out as how good player he is," Plunkett told reporters at the post-match press conference.
In the World Cup match between India and England, the hosts of the tournament opted to bat first. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow gave England a solid start as the duo stitched a 160-run partnership. Roy was dismissed for 66 but Bairstow went on to score a century.
Bairstow was sent back to the pavilion after playing a knock of 111 runs. Towards the end, Ben Stokes played crucial innings of 79 runs to take his side to post 337 runs for the loss of seven wickets.
Chasing 338, India opening batsman Rohit Sharma registered his third century in the tournament. Virat Kohli registered a half-century, becoming the first skipper to register five consecutive fifties in the World Cup. However, India fell 31 runs short in the end. This win has enabled England to move up and take the fourth spot in the tournament standings. Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav remained unbeaten on 42 and seven, respectively.
Ahead of the match, England were trapped in two must-win matches to secure their semi-finals spot. The hosts not only beat India but also ended the Virat Kohli-led team's unbeaten winning streak in the ongoing tournament.
Plunkett said there was pressure as England's campaign could have ended. He also added that winning the toss helped his side as the wicket got tougher to play on in the later stage of the game.
"Great win! Obviously, there was pressure it was like the final to us. It was a good toss to win and bat first as wicket got tougher to play on. The crowd was electric. Indian fans love their cricket and they express that. A lot of guys played IPL and crowds are really upfront for it. It is great to have it here in England," he said.
The fast bowler also highlighted that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli's batting was similar to that of England's opening pair of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.
"(Rohit and Virat's batting was) similar to us. We started off really well. The new ball was the time to bat as it was going to get tougher later on. It was hard to hit. The best thing about holding our nerves was we don't go into our shell. We express ourselves and play positively. We know we are a good team. When we are at our best we can beat any team," he said.
England will next take on New Zealand in their do or die match at Chester-le-Street on July 3. Plunkett further said that the Kiwis are a good side and the clash against them will be tough, however, they are ready.
"We know we need to go and win the next game and get the momentum going. New Zealand are a good team. They are right up there, it will be a tough game but we are ready for that. We know we need to play good cricket. It is as simple as that and take the momentum from this game. It is a big win, it is a World Cup," he said.