Former India captain, Kapil Dev feels Mahendra Singh Dhoni should be promoted at number 4 in the batting order during the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.
While there is absolutely no denying that Dhoni is one of the best finishers the game has ever seen and still possess the ability to blow away any bowling attack on his day, his game style has changed in the last one year or so. The former India skipper has made a habit of taking his time early on before going for the big shots towards the end of the innings.
His new approach has surely attracted criticism as he comes to bat at a time when there are only a few balls left. However, he has shown the amount of damage he can inflict on the opposition once he gets ample balls to play. During the England series earlier this year, he was promoted to number 5 in the batting order and he fully justified the decision by finishing the series as one of India’s best performers. He scored 165 runs in the three-match series at a stunning average of 55 including the 122-ball 134 runs knock.
In the ongoing IPL too, he has shown that he can change the gear in a blink of an eye if he gets settled. The most recent example being his 26-ball 40 knocks for Rising Pune Supergiant against Mumbai Indians in Qualifier I at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday (May 16). He was batting on 14 runs off 17 balls when the 18th over ended but hit four sixes in the final two overs to score 26 runs off the next 9 balls and steer his side to a match-winning total.
His approach, meanwhile, has convinced the legendary Kapil Dev that promoting him at number 4 in the batting order can yield the best result. He also said that Virat Kohli should be happy to have the experience Dhoni by his side.
“Dhoni may not be the Dhoni of eight years back, but he is still the most experienced player in the Indian side, and how they use him will be critical. Virat Kohli should be very happy to have him in the side,” Kapil told Hindustan Times.
“I think he needs to play a few balls before settling down. If he can bat up in the order, at No 4 maybe, it will give him time to settle. At the end of the innings he is absolutely lethal against any bowling,” Kapil added.
Well, it will be interesting to see whether Team India listens to Kapil Dev’s advise as they already have a strong contender for the number 4 spot in the form of Yuvraj Singh. The southpaw was also in good form during the England series where he was India’s second highest run-getter with 210 runs in 3 outings.
The Champions Trophy will begin on June 1 in England while India will begin their title-defence against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 4.