India vs Australia: ‘I would be happy if MS Dhoni bats at No. 4’ – Rohit Sharma
Rohit slammed his 22nd ODI ton while Dhoni scored his first half-century in 14 innings. Despite the duo’s heroics, India lost the match by 34 runs to go down 0-1 in the three-match series.Updated: Jan 13, 2019 08:47 IST
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma has put his weight behind wicket-keeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni to come up the order and bat at number four in ODIs. Rohit and Dhoni put together a century stand to bail India out of trouble after the visitors were left reeling at 4/3 following a top-order collapse in the first ODI against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday.
Rohit slammed his 22nd ODI ton while Dhoni scored his first 50 in 14 innings. Despite the duo’s heroics, India lost the match by 34 runs to go down 0-1 in the three-match series. Speaking after the match, Rohit said that he should bat at number four, the position which is currently occupied by Amabti Rayudu and he enjoys the faith of the team management as well.
“Personally, I always feel him batting at No. 4 will be ideal for the team,” Rohit told reporters after end of the first ODI. “Rayudu has done really well now at No. 4, so it totally depends what the captain and coach thinks about it. Personally asking, yes, I would be happy if he (Dhoni) bats at No. 4.”
“If you look at his (Dhoni’s) overall batting, his strike rate is around 90. Today was a different scenario, when he came out to bat we had already lost three wickets and Australia were bowling pretty well. You just cannot go out and get 100-run partnership easily. So we took a little bit of time and even I did not score as quickly as I normally do.”
“It is pretty simple with him and he does not complicate things. We spoke about building a partnership because it was crucial at that point,” Rohit added.
“It was great to see him come and bat at number five. We lost three wickets but he is keen to get those runs as well. Over the years, he has shown he is ready to bat anywhere for the team and score runs.”
Earlier, during the ODI series against Windies in 2018, skipper Virat Kohli had given his vote of confidence to Rayudu at number four in the batting line-up. So it seems a bit unlikely that Rayudu will be pushed down the order in order to accommodate Dhoni.
“Hopefully he (Rayudu) has sorted out all the mysteries of No 4 position (and hopefully) till the World Cup there would not be any talk of No 4. We have known Rayudu for a long time. He can produce big innings. That’s probably the reason we got him at No 4 and he has not disappointed so far,” Kohli had said.
First Published: Jan 12, 2019 19:06 IST