After the first ODI against Australia, Rohit Sharma expressed that MS Dhoni is the best fit at number four in the current batting line-up.
In the ongoing three-match ODI series, India had lost the first ODI by 34 runs at Sydney despite Rohit Sharma’s ravishing century. Former India captain MS Dhoni scored a 96-ball 51 in a 137-run stand with vice-captain Rohit Sharma; which helped India to recover from the three early wickets.
While addressing the media after the match, Rohit said that Dhoni would be the best fit at the number four position in the current batting line-up.
“Personally always feel that Dhoni batting at number four will be ideal for the team but we have got Rayudu who has done really well now at number four. It totally depends on what the captain and coach think about it. Personally, I would be happy if Dhoni bats at four,” Rohit said.
Dhoni has been batted at number five for many days. He had batted at number four in only 9 ODIs, since the last World Cup; where he scored 245 runs at 27.22. India is trying to sort out their middle order prior to the World Cup where Dhoni’s poor strike rate posed a great threat in the middle-order.
The batsmen like KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey etc. have tried their luck at the position hoping to be fit but India are still searching the right combination in the middle.
“If you look at his overall batting strike rate its 85-90, around 90,” Rohit said while talking about Dhoni’s hitting ability. “But when he came out to bat today we had already lost three wickets and the guys were bowling pretty well at that point. So we had to respect that spell and we wanted to get partnerships.”
Talking about the partnership in the match between his and Dhoni, Rohit said that they were trying to steady the ship as they lost three early wickets.
“It’s pretty simple with him (Dhoni), doesn’t complicate things, as he came on to bat we spoke about building a partnership because it was crucial at that point and it was great to see him come and bat at number five. We lost three early wickets but he is keen to go out there and bat and get those runs as well. So it’s a good sign for us that he showed he can come out and bat any time the team wants him to bat. And with him, he tries to keep things very simple and I am pretty similar to that.”
Rohit further added that they didn’t think about the target at first and only after they crossed 100-run partnership, they decided to accelerate the run chase.
“We never discuss about that target and we only wanted to bat and see where we go after 25 overs and after we got the 100 run partnership we decided that this is the time we need to slightly kick on and make sure that try and put pressure back on bowlers. Till then it was just bowlers dominating and hitting their lengths because we lost 3 wickets and we were under pressure to build the partnership so obviously that point we only decided that we have got to take the game forward and once we got the 100-run partnership the mindset changed and we decided to kick on and get 6-plus an over.”
Though India lost the first ODI, Rohit Sharma thought that it was good lessons learned.
“We were obviously well behind the run rate at that point after the early damage but these things happen and these are the games that will teach you a lot as a batsman,” he added. “You will be put under pressure, there will be times when you have to combat these kind of games when you lose wickets. I think it was a good learning but we’ve said that enough about learning now, it’s time to go an execute – take the pressure, absorb the pressure. International cricket is all about absorbing pressure, today was the perfect example, we were put under pressure and not able to absorb it.”