S Sreesanth came out all guns blazing at Ben Stokes on Monday after the England all-rounder had earlier suggested that MS Dhoni had ‘no or little intent’ during a 2019 World Cup run-chase against the Three Lions.
At the quadrennial event last year in Birmingham, India were comprehensively beaten by 31 runs failing to chase England’s massive score of 337/7. Recently, Stokes expressed shock over the Virat Kohli-led side’s chasing strategy, particularly Dhoni’s intent, in his book, ‘On Fire’.
“Arguably, the way MS Dhoni played when he came in with 112 runs needed from 11 overs was even stranger. He appeared more intent on singles than sixes. Even with a dozen balls remaining, India could still have won,” he wrote in his yet-to-be-published book.
“…there was little or no intent from him or his partner Kedar Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke.”
Sreesanth, whose ban is due to end in September this year, went on to claim that the former India captain never forgets anything and might even end Stokes’ career.
“I hope Ben Stokes wishes he never plays against Dhoni because he doesn’t forget anything,” Sreesanth said during an Instagram Live. “I wish Stokes all the best because if during the IPL or an India-England match, he and Dhoni cross paths again, whatever the one or two million Stokes has been getting, it’ll all go away. Dhoni may even end his career.”
The two-time World Cup winner went on to challenge Stokes to dismiss Dhoni in a match.
“I openly challenge Stokes to dismiss Dhoni, irrespective of whether he’s the number one allrounder in the world. Ben Stokes, you’ve been playing for the last four to five years and since I wasn’t playing, I am really looking forward to bowl to you, brother. Just to give an answer to what you said about Dhoni.”
Earlier, former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq claimed that India had intentionally lost to England to affect Pakistan’s progress in the 2019 World Cup.
In the World Cup match, India needed 71 runs from the final five overs to maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament with MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav in the middle. The duo dealt in singles rather than going for big hits and managed only only 39 in the last five overs.