MS Dhoni has enough capabilities as a batsman: Anil Kumble
Before the beginning of the ODI series against New Zealand, Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that he might promote himself up the order and he did that in the first game. One of the finest finishers the game has ever seen, the Indian skipper has faced severe criticism in recent times due to his inability to finish the games on several occasions and there were calls from certain sections to change his batting order. However, India’s head coach Anil Kumble has dismissed the talks over Dhoni’s slump in form and said that the Indian captain has enough experience to deal with pressure situations. He also heaped lavish praise on Hardik Pandya who bagged the Man of the Match award in the first game. Talking to the journalists ahead of the second ODI,Kumble spoke on various topics regarding the team.
On whether Dhoni would be promoted in the batting order:
It all depends on match situations. While chasing you need more experience. As far as MS is concerned, he has enough experience. He has shown over the years that he has enough capabilities as a batsman. We don’t need to really look close at giving him time to settle in. You will probably see a different batting order depending on different situations.
On who will bat at number 4:
We have a couple of options. Obviously, Manish is someone who has done really well in recent past. He started off really well in Dharamsala. It all depends on situations, may be someone else could walk up depending on whether we bat first or second. But Manish has shown a lot of promise and performance…something heartening. He has quite a bit of experience at domestic level unlike Hardik (Pandya) who is new at that level. He is certainly the No 4, we are looking into.
On whether the team with persist with Ajinkya Rahane in the top order:
I think Rahane certainly fits in at the top of the order so that is one thing we will persist with. Yes, it does give us an option once Shikhar and Rahul are fit but will only look at that when England come for the one-dayers (in January). So it’s a lot of time before the next one-day series. “In this one-day series, definitely Rahane is going to open the batting. Looking at the Champions Trophy, we will then decide who will open the batting.
On Hardik Pandya’s role with the ball in the team:
I think he (Hardik) is someone who gives us right balance because he cannot only bowl but he bowls at a pretty decent pace. It was nice that he really bowled well in his first game with the new ball. That was certainly a strategy that MS wanted Hardik to try. And it’s really heartening that he came up with the MoM award in his first game.
So that should give him a lot of confidence. Like I mentioned, all-rounders, who can run in and bowl quick and bat are certainly an asset and he is someone we will closely monitor and see how he progresses. We will expect Hardik to give us that 7-8 or 10 overs which certainly gives us a better balance in the team.
On Pandya’s role with the bat:
Someone who is just starting his international career we do not want to put pressure on him by giving him definite plans of what is expected of him. He is someone who likes the freedom and that’s exactly what we have given someone like Hardik. We don’t want to burden the younger player, who is coming in, and suggest that this is what is expected of you.
Because the moment you start putting pressure and tell that you bowl 6 deliveries in one spot, it doesn’t work that way in international cricket. Even with his batting, he has all the freedom, doesn’t really matter what the situation is.
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