A key issue for the Indian team in ODI’s has been the contribution of their lower order. The lower order which revolves around Ravindra Jadeja has time and again failed to capitalize on the solid starts provided by the top order and the openers. In the 2015 World Cup as well, Jadeja and the other low order batsmen struggled big time and couldn’t utilize the starts of the top order. The game against Pakistan was a classic example, when the Indians looked set for 330, but had to settle for 300.
Ahead of India’s first ODI against Bangladesh in Mirpur, Dhoni reiterated the fact about the contribution stemming from the lower order. Captain cool Dhoni said that he expects more from the lower order batsmen and it is time for them to step up.
“If you look at the top four or five batsmen, it seems that if they are fit and are in decently good form they are the ones who may go into the next World Cup or the Champions Trophy,” Dhoni said, thus indicating that the team combination will remain more or less the same in the years to come.
The Indian ODI skipper also spoke about the precise role of the no. 7 batsman and in Jadeja in general. “Maybe we need to improve the bottom three. No.s 5,6 and 7 – and particularly No. 7 – because they are very crucial. The reason being the No 7 batsman for you, 90% of the time, has to bowl you 10 overs. So we are still looking.”
“Jadeja has done a decent job. Last one-and-a-half years, I don’t think our bottom order has got a lot of opportunity to bat, especially in the subcontinent. The top order has done a remarkable job because of which the Nos. 5,6 and 7 have not had many opportunities to bat. So it becomes a bit difficult, the reason being, if somebody is batting at No. 7, if he goes in one game where we are 5 or 6 down and he has to score that 50-60 runs. You get an opportunity like that maybe in 10-15 games. The duration between the two games is very long. So I feel where we have to get a few good players who are competing for that No 6-7 slot, but definitely they have to bowl also. If you are playing with five bowlers, the No.7 has to bowl 10 overs,” concluded Dhoni.