Would be happy if Dhoni bats at four: Ro­hit

The Sunday Guardian - - GUARDIAN SPORTS -

SYDNEY: India vice-cap­tain Ro­hit Sharma feels that MS Dhoni should bat at No.4, although adding that the iconic for­mer skip­per is ready to fit in any­where for the team’s cause.

Dhoni laboured to a 96-ball 51 be­fore de­part­ing as India lost the first of the three One Day In­ter­na­tion­als to Aus­tralia by 34 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here on Satur­day.

In a World Cup year, there has been de­bate as to where Dhoni -whose strike rate has gone down in the re­cent past -- should bat.

“Per­son­ally, I al­ways feel that Dhoni bat­ting at num­ber four will be ideal for the team but we have got Am­bati Rayudu who has done re­ally well now at num­ber four. It to­tally de­pends on what the cap­tain and coach think about it. Per­son­ally ask­ing, I would be happy if Dhoni bats at four,” said Ro­hit, who scored 133 off 129 de­liv­er­ies.

Ro­hit dif­fered with his cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli who had pre­vi­ously said that Am­bati Rayudu was his pre­ferred No.4 bats­man.

India were re­duced to 4/3 at one stage chas­ing 289 for vic­tory be­fore Ro­hit, who scored his 22nd ODI hun­dred, and Dhoni stitched to­gether a 141-run stand for the fourth wicket.

“If you look at his (Dhoni’s) over­all bat­ting, his strike rate is around 90. Today was a dif­fer­ent sce­nario, when he came out to bat we had already lost three wick­ets and Aus­tralia were bowling pretty well. You just can­not go out and get 100-run part­ner­ship eas­ily. So we took a lit­tle bit of time and even I did not score as quickly as I nor­mally do,” Ro­hit said.

“I took my time too be­cause we wanted to get that part­ner­ship and los­ing an­other wicket at that point, the game would have been dead there and then. So, we had to play dot balls and build a part­ner­ship.

“It is pretty sim­ple with him and he does not com­pli­cate things. We spoke about build­ing a part­ner­ship be­cause it was cru­cial at that point.

“It was great to see him come and bat at num­ber five. We lost three wick­ets but he is keen to get those runs as well. Over the years, he has shown he is ready to bat any­where for the team and score runs,” he added.

Asked if India’s mid­dle order was strug­gling to de­liver, Ro­hit said: “We knew we can put some of the bowlers un­der pres­sure. Un­for­tu­nately, we kept los­ing wick­ets at the wrong time; the first three wick­ets and then when we were go­ing strong with that part­ner­ship, un­for­tu­nately MS got out and then we knew it was go­ing to be hard.”

“These things hap­pen, these are the games that will teach you a lot as a bats­man, to com­bat these kind of games when you lose wick­ets. But we have said enough about learn­ing now. It is time to go and ex­e­cute, take the pres­sure and ab­sorb it.”

Talk­ing about other bats­men down the order, he said: “We be­lieve in (Ravin­dra) Jadeja to play those cameo in­nings when re­quired but the ask­ing rate was way too much when he came to bat and for any bats­man to just start playing shots is not that easy.”

“Sur­pris­ingly, the ball was re­vers­ing quite a bit so to ad­just to that is not re­ally easy for the new bat­ter. I don’t think it is a worry, but it is an eye-opener. Some­times there will be times where no. 6, 7, 8 need to score those cru­cial runs. Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar did that well but had no sup­port.”

On Dhoni’s dis­missal, which would have prob­a­bly been over­turned if DRS had been avail­able, Ro­hit said: “Tak­ing DRS can be tricky. We don’t even have 15 sec­onds to talk to the bat­ter, only 5-7 sec­onds by the time they walk over.”

“Rayudu said he thought the ball was drift­ing down leg side and I thought the same. We don’t think about these de­ci­sions once they have hap­pened, and you can­not al­ways be right.” he added. IANS

MS Dhoni

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