India's middle-order woes
India dominated the first three ODIs against South Africa but the 'pink brigade' came back strongly to have their first taste of victory in the fourth game of the six-match series at Johannesburg. The men in blue are facing a crisis of sorts in the middle order and with the World Cup just a year away, the Indian team need to get their combination right.
Too much experimentation is eroding India's middle order strength rather than strengthening it. The side from the subcontinent has tried 10 different batsmen at the number four position since the 2015 World Cup down under. The constant chopping and changing are hurting India's chances of having a stable batting order.
There have been numerous opinions about having a firm batting order. In the first ODI, Ajinkya Rahane provided the fans with some aspiration of a permanent solution but the hope has faltered away after the previous two ODIS. "Too many cooks spoil the broth" perfectly explains India's story. They have tried too many batsmen at the number four spot.
The decreasing strike rate of MS Dhoni has forced the fans to think about him at number four. He has garnered a lot of criticism in the recent past for his slow innings. Regarded as best finisher in the world, the former Indian captain has failed to close out the innings on a high on multiple occasions in the last two-three years. The 36-year-old can play the anchor's role at the position has he still has a lot to offer to Indian cricket.
The hard-hitting batsman has a healthy average and a wonderful strike rate at the number four position. The wicket keeper batsman will be the perfect choice to come in to bat after Virat Kohli at the one down position. With the luxury of taking time to settle at the crease, he can unleash the helicopter at the back end of the innings.