Reasons behind MS Dhoni still being preferred over Rishabh Pant in the limited overs setup
Undoubtedly, MS Dhoni is a legend who took the Indian team to its zenith. But, in recent times, his finishing skills have drastically declined which is a big negative for the team. He is heavily criticized for his inability to rotate the strike in the beginning.
In the IPL, we witnessed the old Dhoni but he dismayed us with his performances in the ODI series against England. Despite Rishabh Pant's great performance in the IPL, he was not given a chance to prove himself in the ODI matches. The selection of Dhoni will be questioned if he fails to perform in the Asia Cup. Let's analyze why Dhoni is the first choice of the selectors.
Kohli's mentor: Dhoni is the guide of Kohli whenever he finds it difficult to control the game. Kohli is a great batsman who has proved his legacy in every format but his leadership qualities are still questionable. Dhoni's presence on and off the field is a boon for Kohli. If Pant is selected, he would not be able to guide the Indian captain, Kohli. That's why the selectors are preferring Dhoni who has the experience of winning all the ICC trophies.
Dhoni Review System: Review system is a boon for the Indian side as long as Dhoni is in the team. His right judgement has saved the team a lot of times. Dhoni was one of the opposers of the review system but his team gets a lot of benefit because of the review system and many-a-times his right decisions turned the tables for the Indian team.
Great experience: Dhoni has led the team in all the ICC tournaments and has a great experience in handling adverse situations. This is one of the prime reasons because of which Dhoni is consistently preferred by the selectors. Dhoni will be guiding the bowlers as well and his presence in the dressing room will be very helpful for his teammates.
Reputation as a finisher: Dhoni has been criticized for his poor strike rate in the recent years but, in the IPL he showcased his finishing skills and proved his capability as a finisher. Dhoni should be given the power to decide his batting order so that he can play match-winning knocks for the team. Hardik Pandya should be given the role of power hitting. It would be wrong to say that Dhoni cannot finish the games anymore.
Gambler: Dhoni is known for taking unconventional decisions in big games which have aided the team to win close knocks. Kohli will also get some similar suggestions to snatch the games form the opponents' grasp.
In Asia Cup, Dhoni will have to perform as a batsman and will have to prove that he still has the ability to play some match-winning knocks. If he fails to perform in this tournament, his further selection in the team will be questioned which will ultimately build pressure on him. We have great expectations from him and the Indian side needs him badly but he has to score runs for the teams in crucial situations.