4 courageous decisions that can help India defend their Asia Cup Title
Team India is currently on the last leg of the England tour, with just two more games to go. After going down in the first two matches, India fought back courageously and secured one of the most famous overseas victories with a comprehensive team effort.
While the focus largely remains on the remaining two fixtures, the team must also be planning about its next assignment - The Asia Cup. The continental extravaganza is scheduled to begin within a week after the completion of England tour.
India enters into the tournament as defending champions, having claimed their 6th victory in 2016. In the previous edition, India won the tournament comfortably, with other sides putting up a lacklustre display.
However, this time around, the Indians might face some stiff competition for the title, especially from arch-rivals Pakistan, who are slowly transitioning their team. In the face of these circumstances, there are some out-of-the-box decisions that need to be taken.
Virat Kohli has had a successful run after taking the reins from MS Dhoni, leading his team to many bilateral series wins. However, the unorthodox element seems to be missing from his captaincy like his predecessor.
Of late, the ODI side has been facing some issues which surfaced in the recent limited overs leg against the English. Thus, it would be interesting to see how Captain Kohli channelizes his resources in this multilateral tournament to steer his team to victory.
We have a look at 4 courageous moves that can help Team India to defend their Asia Cup title :
#4 MS Dhoni at number 4
The number 4 slot has been the most concerning area for Team India in the previous 36 months. India have tried 11 batsmen at this slot, but none of the players have been able to make it a spot of their own.
In the recently concluded series against England, KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik were entrusted the role to anchor the innings, which went in vain. In the same series, MS Dhoni was severely criticised for his slow knocks down the order.
While it was largely due to the situation and lack of support at the other end, the wicketkeeper-batsman was also not able to find the boundary at will. MSD did stress upon batting higher up the order in the last series under his captaincy, but the resurgence of Yuvraj Singh and emergence of young guns dwindled away those prospects.
However, Dhoni's game plan is perfectly suited for the no.4 slot. As the senior-most stalwart of the team, he brings in the elements of responsibility and stability in the squad. The former skipper can pace the innings extremely well in the middle overs, being equally adept against both pace and spin.
He can negotiate the skilled bowlers, find the occasional boundary and can run between the wickets like a thunderbolt. Once he gets set, he can wreak havoc on the opposition towards the end of the innings, with his expert finishing touches.
Moreover, the wicketkeeper-batsman enjoys a good rapport with captain Virat Kohli, their partnerships having steered India to victory on numerous occasions. Thus, MS Dhoni and no. 4 slot- both seem to be a perfect match for each other.