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MS Dhoni: Rohit Sharma's form shouldn't be judged by runs scored

MS Dhoni speaks about a range of issues after India's win over Zimbabwe.

MS Dhoni

Indian One-Day International (ODI) skipper MS Dhoni has provided complete backing to opener Rohit Sharma and said that his lack of runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup so far, having scored just 159 runs from 6 matches at a middling average of 31.80, isn’t too much of a concern heading into the knockout stages. Rohit came into the World Cup on the back of a magnificent century against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the triangular series that also involved England, but his form has tapered off since then, scoring just 2 fifties against minnows United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ireland.

Dhoni, though, believes that the 27-year-old Mumbaikar is spending enough time in the middle and timing the ball well enough for him to soon convert one of his starts at the top of the order into a really big score.

"It's not always about the runs. We have seen batsmen who are playing really well but they have not scored runs (in matches), and all of a sudden you see a game where they score really big and they come back. So it's not really being out of form. What's important is to spend time in the middle, and I think Rohit has done enough of that," he said.

"What is important is to see what kind of a start they have got. I feel Rohit has batted really well so far. He looks quite calm and composed, and at the same time he's playing the shots really well. That's something of a key factor.”

He further added: "Well, we have to consider the fact there have been instances where we have chased quite a few times so far in the tournament, and if the opposition (UAE, West Indies) have not scored too many runs, the openers, they can't score the same number of runs.”

Ravindra Jadeja is a key component of the Indian side: Dhoni

Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja is finding his place in the side increasingly under the spotlight due to his failure to justify his inclusion with either bat or ball. With the ball, he has taken just 7 wickets at 37 apiece, in stark contrast to Ravichandran Ashwin (12 wickets at 21.50), and scored just 18 runs from the 6 matches at an average of 6, albeit he hasn’t got to bat on three occasions and had to go gung-ho right from the first ball when he’s got the opportunity.

Dhoni said that they have invested a lot of time since the last World Cup in developing Jadeja into a capable all-rounder and that he retains faith in Jadeja’s ability to come good at some stage over the course of the next two weeks. 

"Well, I think to some extent you may say it's a bit of a concern, but at the same time, as I said, if you are worried about Raina in the sense, he has not got enough chance to bat, but he has still done decently well. It's difficult to go down further because then you come to me and say, okay, maybe you have batted a bit. But Jadeja has not got too many much chances with the bat. Also it's not easy to get in and slog over here," he opined.

"Only the bowling, I think, has bowled decently well in patches. He's still improving, and overall, he's a key ingredient. The reason being it gives us that hope, and we have put in a lot of effort and time in him since the last World Cup. Jadeja has been a regular part of the team, and he has actually done really well for us. I'm quite happy with the way he's bowling."

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