While Team India has been performing really well in One-Day Internationals in the last one year or so, one cannot say that the team management has enjoyed the wins without much worry. The top-order and the bowling lineup have been absolutely lethal but the same cannot be said about the middle order especially the number 4 spot.
Since the start of this year, the team has tried several options including Yuvraj Singh, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey at number 4 but without much success. With the series against Australia now just a few days away, the team management will be worried as who to try at that position but instead of looking very far, one name that the team can rely on is none other than Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Considering the fact that Dhoni’s finishing ability has not been as good as it was in past and the way he has been constructing his innings in the last few months, promoting him at number 4 can turn out to be a win-win situation for both the parties.
Several former and current players including captain Virat Kohli have already said that they would like to see Dhoni bat higher in the order.
“I know he is like that, but I would love to see him bat higher-up and totally enjoy his cricket. If MS Dhoni enjoys his cricket, and plays the way he has in his initial years, the team is in a very solid space,” Kohli said earlier this year after being handed the limited-overs captaincy.
Well, not only the backing of other players Dhoni’s track record at number four is also in his favour. While Dhoni’s normal batting position is at Number 5 he batted at number 4 in a few matches including the series against New Zealand last year and more often than not it had worked.
In 13 matches that he batted at number 4, he has scored 734 runs at an outstanding average of 108.9 with the help of one century and 8 half-centuries. Even when he batted at this position against New Zealand last year, he played a brilliant 80-run knock. Now given his experience as well as the other players’ failure to perform, the former India skipper looks the best bait at number 4 and the upcoming series against Australia will be one of the best chances to test him at that position.