India were meandering along yet again in the middle overs and MS Dhoni was taking his time to get settled in and the run rate had stagnated. Virat Kohli got out and then Dhoni and Hardik Pandya tried to push on the scoring rate. However, it was vintage MS Dhoni in the final few overs and when Oshane Thomas bowled the final over, the seasoned campaigner walloped him for two sixes and a boundary. This propelled India's score to 268 in their 50 overs.
Captain Virat Kohli, who has always been Dhoni's big supporter, threw all his weight behind the former skipper and said that as a team they always back him as he has won them so many games. Dhoni did cop a lot of criticism for his slow and sluggish batting in the middle phases.
'We always back MS Dhoni'
"When he (MS Dhoni) has an off day here and there, everyone starts talking. We always back him. He has won us so many games," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The skipper also said that MS Dhoni's experience in the middle overs helps the Indian side and went on to explain how his presence helps India get the important runs in the end which become ever so critical.
"The best thing about having someone like him is when you need those 15-20 runs, he knows exactly how to get them. His experience, 8 out of 10 times has come good for us. We have quite a few players who play instinctive cricket and follow their game plans," Kohli said.
"He has such a keen understanding of the game. Always sends us feedback, that you know 260 is a good score. He's a legend of the game. We all know that. Just hope he can continue," the skipper further added.
India kept their unbeaten run going in the tournament and they are now within touching distance of making it into the semi-finals. India and New Zealand have 11 points each but Virat Kohli's troops take the second spot courtesy of a better Net Run Rate (NRR).
Kohli and team will now take on hosts England in a bumper clash at Edgbaston. A win here will seal their semi-finals spot. Despite the result, there are a few areas of concern for India - the middle order muddle remains a big headache and Rishabh Pant could finally get a go against England.