Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja breathed life into India’s chase after the top three – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli – departed having scored just 1 run each.
Dinesh Karthik, sent in at No. 4, failed to make the most of the opportunity and was dismissed following a spectacular catch by Jimmy Neesham.
Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya started off in a way that made fans believe that India’s future is in safe hands but the nature of pair’s dismissal highlighted a flaw in the mindset that bends more towards the T20 game than the traditional Test format.
While it looked like their departures have all but sealed the fate of the match, Dhoni and Jadeja had refused to give up.
The duo produced a 116-run stand for the 7th wicket before Jadeja skied a delivery bowled by Trent Boult, with Kane Williamson taking a clean catch to break the partnership.
With Dhoni still in middle, all hopes were not over but the Ranchi-born wicket-keeper batsman saw Guptill turn from zero to hero in a split second as his direct throw – aimed at a single stump – got Dhoni just inches away from the crease.
That was the end, Dhoni knew it, entire India knew it and even the Kiwi players knew it. On his way back to pavilion, the 38-year-old was spotted in tears.
Seeing their hero break down like that, fans on social media failed to hold their tears as well.
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