MS Dhoni is a go-to-man for Virat Kohli in the 2019 World Cup – Suresh Raina
Overlooked India’s senior batsman Suresh Raina believes MS Dhoni will play a quintessential role in the upcoming 2019 World Cup for the Men in Blue under the leadership of Virat Kohli. He added Dhoni’s inclusion has a lot on offer in the quadrennial event, adding India has a fair chance to lift the coveted trophy on July 14 at the historic Lord’s venue in London.
Raina asserted he wouldn’t be amazed either if India would finish in the top four of the ICC’s major event.
“[MS Dhoni] He has seen a lot of ups and downs, he has been a part of quite a few World Cups and has also been there in IPL finals and that is why he is the go-to-man for skipper Kohli. I won’t be surprised if we finish in the top four (at the end of the group stages) and if that happens, we clearly have a very good chance of lifting the World Cup at Lord’s,” Raina told Hindustan Times.
With the 2019 World Cup scheduled to kick off on May 30 in England and Wales, the southpaw Raina feels Dhoni’s experience will help in playing a crucial role for the youngsters as well.
The left-handed batsman Raina has heaped praise on his former Indian skipper Dhoni. He added Dhoni has been in good stead which is a positive side for the national team.
“The amount of runs Dhoni has scored recently in Australia and New Zealand and the kind of guidance he gives to the youngsters in the team, especially the bowlers, that augurs really well for the boys,” Raina added.
Earlier, many cricket pundits opined India and England would be two teams to beat during the ODI showpiece event in the United Kingdom (UK).
Raina on Dhoni’s position backs him at No.4:
The 37-year-old Dhoni has been in good form following a slow-show in Sydney. He not only registered three fifties on a trot, but eventually saw India home to clinch three-match One-day International (ODI) series 2-1 against Australia.
The 32-year-old Raina sees Dhoni as No.4 batsman for the multi-nation tournament in the UK.
“Dhoni has been batting really well and scoring runs. For me, I feel he is India’s number four for the World Cup,” Raina said.
Also, Kohli’s batting position had become a debate when head coach Ravi Shastri maintained Kohli could bat at four.
Raina hails Kohli’s ‘hunger to perform’:
Raina has further praised the consistency of Kohli as a player while hailing him as a ‘brilliant’ captain. He added Kohli’s eagerness to deliver irrespective of the circumstances sets him apart from other top-order batsmen.
Furthermore, Kohli has often relished the challenges according to Raina
“Virat Kohli is a brilliant leader as well as a brilliant player. Everyone knows how many runs he has scored. But what stands out for me when it comes to Kohli is the belief that he has and the hunger to perform in every situation. Every time there is a pressure-cooker scenario, he is ready to take the responsibility with open arms,” Raina stated.
In conclusion, Raina believes there’s no place for any pressure. He remarked the unit has been delivering goods on each of its tours, of late.
“I don’t really think there will be pressure. I think the way the boys have been playing, we have done really well,” Raina concluded.
Raina is hopeful to see India coming good in English conditions to eye third ODI World Cup title.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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