Leading into the 2019 edition of the World Cup, India are one of the favourites to win the championship along with the likes of England. The Men in Blue boast of having MS Dhoni, the 2011 World Cup winning captain, who’ll be playing his fourth and most probably his last edition. He is approaching 38, but his zeal to succeed at the highest level hasn’t died down by any means.
Over the last few days, there has been a discussion on where the Jharkhand-born wicketkeeper should come in the Indian batting lineup. Dhoni didn’t have the best of times in the 2018 season but got his mojo back this year after three back-to-back half-centuries in Australia that got him the Player of the Series award. In that three-match series, he even batted expertly at number four.
Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar reckons that Dhoni can take the game deep from where he can unleash his wide range of strokes, soaking in the pressure. Nevertheless, Sachin refrained from speaking on who should be batting at the number four position.
We are well equipped
During a recent interview, Sachin Tendulkar mentioned that Dhoni should bat at the number five position. He stated that with the former skipper at five, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan as the openers and Virat Kohli at three, Indian batting line-up looks solid. “My personal opinion is Dhoni should be batting (at) five. I still don’t know what the team combination would be, but if you are going Rohit (Sharma) and Shikhar (Dhawan) as openers, to Virat (Kohli) at No. 3 and whoever at No. 4 then Dhoni could be No. 5. Then Hardik Pandya, an explosive player, follows them,” quoted Sachin Tendulkar.
“That way the experienced batsmen are well spaced out and Dhoni can stretch the game towards the end where he himself can be explosive along with Hardik. From No 5-8 you are looking at finishers, who stay till the end and soak in that pressure. I feel we are well equipped to do that,” he added.
India are already in England for the 50-overs tournament. Virat Kohli & Co is scheduled to play a couple of warm-up matches versus New Zealand and Bangladesh. Their first match in the main event is against South Africa on June 5 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.