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Either bat MS Dhoni at number 4 or let him go

Sachin Arora
1.51K   //    15 Sep 2018, 16:40 IST

England v India - Royal London One-Day Series 2014
MS Dhoni's role should be re-defined

Lately, there has been a lot of debate about MS Dhoni's place in the Indian team.

On one hand, there are some ardent fans of Dhoni who say that he still has a lot to contribute to Indian limited overs cricket especially keeping the 2019 World Cup in mind. On the other hand, there are sceptics who are keen to point out that since his hitting prowess is on the wane, he is not able to do a finisher's job anymore.

Both these arguments have some merit, so if you can't let him go and also want to make full use of his expertise then you need to find an ideal solution.

Batting Dhoni at number four might be one such solution. By making him bat at number four India can make full use of Dhoni, the batsman. It will give him sufficient time to settle at the crease as he won't have to hit from the word go, which he has not been able to do effectively in the last few years.

Also, it will solve the middle order crisis that the Indian side is facing. Dhoni can make full use of his experience to guide the batters who will be coming to bat at #5 and #6 and he can bat along with them to either chase down a score or set-up a big total. It will allow the team to use Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya as finishers as both these players have the ideal game to do that.

In a marquee event like World Cup where the stakes and the pressure is high, players like Dhoni have the necessary experience to handle this kind of pressure. A testament to that is Dhoni's knock in the 2011 World Cup final where Dhoni promoted himself and helped India come out on top. Dhoni's temperament is tailor-made for such kind of pressure cooker situations.

With Dhoni approaching the twilight of his career, it is about time that Dhoni's role in the team is re-defined, he should be played as an innings builder rather than as a finisher. If he is too precious for team management to let go then he should be used in the right manner, otherwise, team management will be guilty of putting Indian team at a disadvantage for an individual.

Indian team should adapt horses for courses policy and there is no better horse than MS Dhoni to set them on course to World Cup victory again.

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Sachin Arora
a chartered accountant, a theatre actor and a former club cricketer who still believes that test cricket is the only form of cricket which will survive the test of time. A keen follower of other sports and Indian athletes. A movie buff and a short story writer.
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