Sourav Ganguly rates Virat Kohli over MS Dhoni as India's best finisher
At the fall of Rohit Sharma’s wicket during the third ODI against New Zealand on Sunday in Mohali, few expected MS Dhoni to walk out and join his deputy, Virat Kohli, in the centre with the hosts still needing 244 runs to take a 2-1 series lead.
The 35-year-old, who has expressed a certain level of confusion over the past 18 months or so on whether to come up the order or not, promoted himself above Manish Pandey on Sunday and the move paid rich dividends as he made a superb 80 to take his team to a position of safety.
The knock from him, once again, brought forward the debate over where exactly Dhoni should bat in 50-overs cricket for India and whether he should give himself sufficient overs to churn out a big score against his name.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, however, has said that he is not sure whether the Indian limited-overs skipper will be willing to bat up the order on a more consistent basis and added that head coach Anil Kumble should play a role in pushing Dhoni to bat higher up the line-up.
“Not sure if he continues to bat at No.4. Anil Kumble needs to push him up the order because it makes life lot easier for him and people coming down the order. He hasn't got ODI hundred for three years and the reason is he bats just 40-50 balls. I think he not only undermines his talent but also undermines his team's capacity of winning games,” Ganguly told India Today, post the game.
“He keeps talking about finishing games. He finished the game today as well. He played so well at No.4," he added.
While Dhoni played the perfect supporting role during the chase, it was Kohli, who once again delivered in a pursuit of a target, smashing an unbeaten 154 to guide India past the finish line.
"It's remarkable. It's such a pleasure to see him bat. We keep talking good things about him. I have lost all adjectives about him. It's just another good knock. Great knock to be honest. I wish he keeps playing like this," Ganguly said.
Kohli doesn’t just score hundreds, he wins matches
For years running Dhoni has been rated as the best finisher, not just in Indian cricket, but across the world as well, but the 43-year-old former left-hander felt that Kohli had gone past his limited-overs captain in that regard and added that all the stats back that point.
"By far Virat Kohli there's no doubt about it. He not just scores hundreds at No.3, he even wins matches. He gets hundreds in all conditions whether it's in Australia, England or South Africa. There's no comparison with MS Dhoni.
“These two are the best ODI players along with Rohit Sharma in the squad. I think Kohli is miles ahead of others in terms of his average, in terms of winning, in terms of scoring runs in all conditions. I don't think Dhoni has got a hundred away from sub-continent in ODI but Kohli has got hundreds in all conditions. I think Rohit has also got hundred in Australia but none of them will be at par with Kohli at the moment," Ganguly said.