Mahendra Singh Dhoni's comeback as captain, albeit for a game, ended in a thrilling tie against Afghanistan in their Asia Cup 2018 Super Four match at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday. Apart from the thrilling tie, the match also saw some umpiring blunders. Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik were given leg before by the on-field umpires -- Gregory Brathwaite of West Indies and Anisur Rahaman of Bangladesh -- even though TV replays clearly indicated that the ball was missing the stumps in both the cases.
Taking a dig at umpiring errors, Dhoni said: "I don't want to be fined".
Dhoni was dismissed by part-time off-spinner Javed Ahmadi and the delivery seemed to have gone over stumps while Karthik's dismissal of Mohammed Nabi was bigger blunder as the ball missed the leg stump by a couple of feet. Kedar Jadhav's run-out was also a case of bad luck as his bat got stuck near the crease while he was dragging it in.
India were set a target of 253 and the match ended in a tie after the team was bowled out for 252.
"There were a couple of run-outs, and a few things we can't talk about because I don't want to get fined for it," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation.
Any public criticism of umpiring decisions invites sanctions from the ICC and Dhoni chose his words very carefully.
However, the stand-in captain was magnanimous in his praise for Afghanistan.
"Their (Afghanistan's) cricket has improved a lot. The way they have continued from the start of the Asia Cup, it is commendable and we have enjoyed their cricket. It is one country that has risen through the ranks very well," Dhoni said.
Dhoni felt that Afghanistan excelled in all departments of the game.
"They batted extremely well too. The wicket slowed down later, but they bowled extremely well throughout the game and their fielding was tight too."
Dhoni also said India were not playing their full-strength side also needed to be factored in.
"I wouldn't say we went wrong in the chase. To start off, it was like a handicap in golf. We didn't go with a full-strength side. Not enough spinners on this wicket. The first over that a fast bowler bowls, they need to extract swing. We didn't hit the back of a length area, and we gave away too much initially with the ball."
(With PTI inputs)