Former India pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji has spoken on why MS Dhoni would be important for India in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019.
MS Dhoni has finally regained his form after a poor 2018 which saw him face severe criticism for his indifference batting displays. But his form this year has been pretty good. He began this year with a stunning display in the ODI series against Australia. The former India skipper scored three consecutive fifties against Australia, helping India beat the hosts 2-1 to register their first-ever ODI series win on the Australian soil. Dhoni finished the series as the highest run-scorer, scoring 193 runs to bag the Men of the Series award.
He then scored an unbeaten 48 off 33 against New Zealand in the second ODI but did not get too many chances after that. With Dhoni in form, the team-management will be feeling confident going into the World Cup.
And according to Lakshmipathy Balaji, not only Dhoni’s form but also his experience will be crucial to India in the showpiece event. Balaji, currently plying his trade as Chennai Super Kings’ bowling coach, said that Dhoni will be crucial to India’s inexperienced middle-order.
“MS Dhoni’s experience can’t be questioned. There are not many better than him when it comes to handling situations with maturity. He has been a guiding force for the youngsters. India needs his experience to guide the middle-order batsmen,” Balaji told indiatoday.in.
“Virat, Rohit, and Dhawan bring in experience to the top-order. What about the middle-order? MS Dhoni will be a big influence in this team,” he added. “MS Dhoni is a player who always takes every game seriously and makes sure he gives it his all.”
Meanwhile, this year’s World Cup will start on May 30. Hosts England and South Africa will lock horns in the tournament-opener at The Oval in London. The tournament will last for 45 days with 48 matches to be played. India will start their campaign against the Proteas on June 5. The format for the 2019 edition will see 10 best teams in the world going head-to-head in a round-robin format. The tournament will culminate with the fifth final at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 14.