Exclusive Interview | MS Dhoni | Australia vs India 2018-19 | Vijay Dahiya |
MS Dhoni. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Sportzwiki Exclusive: MS Dhoni’s Return to Form is a Big Boost For India – Vijay Dahiya

India clinched the ODI series by 2-1 against Australia and former Indian skipper MS Dhoni was instrumental in team’s triumph. Dhoni, who wasn’t in the best of forms in the recent past, returned back to form in style as he scored 193 runs in the three-match series. He was able to finish the last two matches as he scored an unbeaten 55 runs off 54 balls in the second and scored 87 from 114 balls in the third ODI to help India clinch the ODI series. Subsequently, Sportzwiki caught up with former Indian wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya, who believes MS Dhoni return to form is a big boost for the team.

India had a successful tour of Australia where they won their first ever Test series on Australia soil. The T20I series was tied and Virat Kohli couldn’t have asked for a better series Down Under.

Mohammed Azharuddin, MS Dhoni, Sunil Gavaskar
S Dhoni. Image Courtesy: Getty

Dhoni is back at his best.

There were more positives for the Indian team. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also got back his Midas Touch whereas Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik came up with runs in the ODI series. Furthermore, Yuzvendra Chahal bowled a brilliant spell in the final game of the series.

GC: MS Dhoni scored 193 runs in the series, he has returned back to form in style. How big a boost this is for the Indian team ahead of the World Cup?

VD: I think it is a huge boost for the Indian team ahead of the World Cup. Dhoni batted at the top of his game and made full use of his experience. He rotated the strike with guile and once again took the match deep. Dhoni needs more time to get settled now and it was good to see coming out to bat at number four position. He took his time initially and he is always going to win you the match if he stays there till the end. He is a CHAMPION player and his return back to form is a great sign for the Indian team.

GC: Do you see any other batsman getting a go at the number four position as Ambati Rayudu could not perform in the first two matches. Can we see someone like Shubman Gill getting his chance in New Zealand or Kedar Jadhav who performed well in the final game? 

Sportzwiki Exclusive: MS Dhoni's Return to Form is a Big Boost For India - Vijay Dahiya 1

The number four batsman?

VD: Absolutely there are good selection headaches for the Indian team, there is no doubt about it. I feel the way Kedar batted today, he deserves a longer run in the side. He came out to bat when India lost the wicket of their skipper Virat Kohli and Kedar batted with confidence. This was his first match of the series and he batted with aplomb. Furthermore, he brings his economical bowling to the table. He can bat at any position as per the match situation, so he should get more chances in the playing XI. Jadhav also keeps the runs down and he is an asset in the team. Moreover, Dinesh Karthik has done well in the recent past to finish the games for India. So, the Men in Blue has a couple of options of batsmen who can bat at the number four position.

GC: Yuzvendra Chahal scalped a six-wicket haul in the decider of the series. Don’t you think he should be the regular part of the playing XI or Ravindra Jadeja is a better option in ODIs.

Chahal proved his mettle.

MS Dhoni, Sunil Gavaskar, Australia vs India 2018-19, Yuzvendra Chahal
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

VD: Definitely he should be in India’s final XI. He bowled brilliantly in the final match against Australia and proved his mettle. Chahal wasn’t getting his chances in the playing XI in the recent past, which was sad to see. Obviously the wrists spinners can get more turn than finger spinners. Thus, Chahal is a wicket-taking option for the side as he can put more revolutions on the ball. He wasn’t in the best of forms in the recent past and this performance would have added to his confidence. It doesn’t make sense if Jadeja is batting at number eight position as Bhuvneshwar Kumar can also contribute with the bat. So, Chahal should be there in the playing XI.

GC: Mohammed Shami has done a fine job in the red ball version. However, India still needs a third seamer in the ODI side. We have tried the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, and Siddarth Kaul but all of them lacks experience and have failed to live up to the expectations. Don’t you think Mohammed Shami should be a regular pick in ODI side?

India's predicted XI, Melbourne ODI
Mohammed Shami. Image Courtesy: Getty

VD: I think Mohammed Shami should be given more chances in the ODI side. There were some doubts raised on his fitness in the recent past but he has performed consistently in the Test format. He was left out of the Test match against Afghanistan as he had failed to clear the Yo-Yo Test. If he can keep his fitness level high, he should be getting more chances.