Former India opener Gautam Gambhir believes MS Dhoni would have been a completely different player had he continued batting in the top-order. The legendary opener said that the cricket world missed witnessing the former India captain continue to bat at No. 3.
He went on to say that Dhoni would have the ‘most exciting cricketer’ had he continued to bat at No. 3 instead of going on to become the captain of the Indian cricket team. Well, Dhoni indeed marked his arrival in world cricket when he was promoted at No.3. He scored a stunning 148 against a formidable Pakistan attack in just his fifth ODI.
His highest ODI score of 183 also came at that position when he destroyed the Sri Lankan attack. However, he played just 16 ODIs at the top-order spot before demoting himself and excelling as a finisher. In those 16 games, he scored an impressive 993 runs at an average of over 82 and a strike rate of close to 100.
After taking charge of the team, Dhoni batted mostly at No.5 and 6 and scored majority of his 10,773 ODI runs came at those positions. And while many few have scored more than 10,000 runs in ODIs, Gautam Gambhir believes Dhoni would have been even more successful had he batted at No.3.
“Probably world cricket has missed one thing… that is MS (Dhoni) captained India and did not bat at No. 3. Had MS batted at No. 3, probably world cricket would have seen a completely different player,” Gautam Gambhir told Star Sports ‘Cricket Connected’
“Probably he would have got many more runs, broken many records. Forget about records, they are meant to be broken. He would have been the most exciting cricketer in the world had he not captained India and had he batted at No. 3.
“MS Dhoni batting at No. 3 on flat wickets with the quality of bowling attack now in world cricket… look at Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and West Indies in the current situation, with the quality there is no international cricket, MS Dhoni would have broken most of the records,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dhoni has not played international cricket since the 2019 World Cup semifinal. As soon as the tournament ended, he took a sabbatical which is yet to end. He would have returned to action in March through the IPL but the tournament was suspended indefinitely in the light of the pandemic.