India vs Australia: Sachin Tendulkar has his say on MS Dhoni’s performance in ODI series
Virat Kohli’s century was praiseworthy but equally important in Tuesday’s win was the experience of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his partnership with Dinesh Karthik, said Sachin Tendulkar.
“Along with Dhoni, I thought Karthik played rather well and finished the game. Dhoni stayed there till the end and his experience mattered,” said Tendulkar in an interview to 100MB, his official app.
Asked about Dhoni’s contribution in the series-equalising win at Adelaide Oval, Tendulkar said: “I thought yesterday’s contribution was very good. In the first match I felt he was a little rusty. He was not able to hit the ball where he wanted to. That can happen to anyone. But he walked out in the second match thinking differently. From ball one, he looked a different player. He is someone who likes to take his time, play a few dot balls, understand the bowling and take the game till the end. And that is exactly what he did.”
Dhoni and Karthik’s performances may have ended Rishabh Pant’s chances of getting a game unless he comes in for a batsmen, said Tendulkar.
“You already have Karthik playing as a batter and you already have two wicket-keepers who have contributed to our success. They had that crucial partnership that won us the game. So, if you are looking to have Pant in the team that means you have to either remove a proper batter or remove a bowler and I don’t think you can afford to remove a bowler. So if he replaces a proper batter who doesn’t bowl then it is okay. But if he is going to replace an allrounder, that is going to cost us. One would want to encourage youngsters but we need to have that balance.”
Encourage youngsters he did when it came to bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Khaleel Ahmed. Tendulkar said it would be harsh judging them now and that it is important to get the bench ready.
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The unbeaten 57-run partnership between Dhoni and Karthik that steered India home was one of the stands that forged the six-wicket win, said Tendulkar. They made the difference in the first and second ODIs. If a team doesn’t lose early wicket, it can take some risks in the middle overs, said Tendulkar adding that he has been impressed by Australia’s new ball attack.
Describing Kohli’s 112-ball 104 as a fantastic effort, Tendulkar said: “There are patches in an innings where you have to take a bit of a risk and press the accelerator harder and that is exactly what he has done. I continue to maintain that he is an excellent reader of the game. One has to have situation awareness and I think that awareness is very, very high.”