In the 13th over of the second ODI between India and Bangladesh at Mirpur, Virat Kohli was trapped in front by Nasir Hossain for 23 which saw a massive roar from the crowd. Then entered MS Dhoni to bat at number 4.

Everyone were surprised to see the skipper walk in at number 4. Though he showed some glimpsed of old Dhoni in the beginning, the fall of Shikhar Dhawan slowed him a bit as he started to set himself for a big one. Along with Suresh Raina, he settled in and when the stage was set for Dhoni to take charge, India lost Raina and Ambati Rayudu in quick succession, which further pushed back Dhoni.

Eventually, Dhoni scored 47 off 75 balls and got out caught by Soumya Sarkar when he misread a slower one from Mustafizur Rahman, just like other Indian batsmen.

When asked about his promotion to number 4, Dhoni said that wanted to get set and bat freely. But unfortunately, wickets fell when he was set and that hampered his momentum. He said the whole idea was for me to go up and play more freely. The last four-five years, I have batted at 6, and there is always some kind of pressure other so I have not been able to bat freely. I wanted to get set and bat freely, but when I got set we lost wickets. Then we had to build some kind of partnership before we could go after the bowlers, then again we lost a couple of wickets. It was not really possible.

He also justified the move by pointing the importance of a good batter at number 5 or 6 in the future. And that was also the reason why he made Raina to bat below him.

I would like to bat slightly up in the order so I can play a bit more freely. Yes I have adapted to what the team needed of me since 2006, but for the longer run it is important for us to see who is a good batter at No. 6, at 7 or even maybe 5. That is why I dropped (Suresh) Raina (down the order). He has been successful at that slot. If I move up there, it should be someone experienced at that slot. It is a difficult slot. You can’t just go out there and play the big shot. You don’t really have as many big batsmen behind you. If an opener plays a big shot. he thinks twice, but if you are No. 6 or 7 you have to think three times or you don’t think at all because you are not worried about anything else, he added.

So this might well be an indication that Dhoni will bat number 4 in the future.


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