Last Update on: March 6th, 2019 at 04:59 pm
Out-of-favour India batsman Suresh Raina feels MS Dhoni’s finishing abilities will be an asset in India’s lower middle order at this year’s World Cup. Raina’s comments have come despite Dhoni’s struggles to finish games not very long ago. The former India skipper had a 2018 to forget. He constantly struggled to score big and his strike rate was even worse. Last year, he had managed to score just 275 runs in 20 ODIs last year. His strike-rate and average in 2018 was his worst-ever in a calendar year since his debut in 2004.
However, Dhoni has started the World Cup-year on a bang. On the tour of Australia, he was India’s standout performer. The veteran batsman scored half-centuries in all the three-games of the series, including two match-winning ones as India won their first-ever bilateral ODI series on Australian soil. He finished the series as the top run-scorer to walk away with the Man of the Series award.
He also played an impressive knock of 48 in New Zealand and recently scored yet another match-winning unbeaten fifty against Australia in the first ODI of the ongoing five-match series. And Raina feels Dhoni’s finishing abilities will be important for the team in the World Cup.
“For MS, the ideal position would be number five or six,” Suresh Raina told Reuters.
“He is such a keen reader of the game and brings years of experience. When required he can build up an innings and his finishing skills are unmatched,” added Raina.
Raina also gave his views on the much-talked about topic about Virat Kohli’s batting position. While Kohli has mainly batted at number three, Ravi Shastri recently sparked a debate by saying that the skipper could bat at number four in the World Cup. When asked about that Raina said:
“I think number three or four should be good (for Kohli). If the top order topples quickly, we need someone like Kohli to keep it together.”
Meanwhile, England will take on South Africa in the World Cup-opener on May 30, 2019, 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 final at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 14.