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Virat Kohli needs MS Dhoni for 2019 World Cup glory: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar said that MS Dhoni’s experience will come handy in the 2019 World Cup and he will be able to guide skipper Virat Kohli in handling the pressure.

cricket Updated: Oct 31, 2018 12:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virat Kohli,MS Dhoni,Sunil Gavaskar
Virat Kohli, left, shares a light moment with teammate Mahendra Singh Dhoni after scoring 10,000 runs in one-day internationals.(AP)

A lot of debate has already taken place over former skipper MS Dhoni’s role in the future of the Indian cricket team but former skipper Sunil Gavaskar believes that India will need the services of Dhoni in the 2019 ICC World Cup.

“Virat needs (Dhoni),” Gavaskar said in his analysis on Star Sports, as quoted by ICC cricket.

Gavaskar also said that Dhoni’s experience will come handy in the 2019 World Cup and he will be able to guide skipper Virat Kohli in handling the pressure.

“There’s no doubt about it. In 50 overs where there is that much more time, that’s when MSD comes into play. You know he makes those small field adjustments, talking to the bowlers in Hindi - telling them where to bowl and what to bowl. It’s a huge plus for Virat”, he said.

The Indian cricket team selections opting to rest the veteran wicket-keeper for the upcoming T20I series against West Indies and Australia while his form in 2018 has been quite abysmal to say the least.

“Dhoni is not going to play the 6 T20Is because we’re looking at the second keeper slot. It is not the end of Dhoni in T20Is,” said chief selector MSK Prasad.

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With 252 runs from 18 matches, MS Dhoni is averaging 25.20 in 2018 in ODIs – his worst year in terms of batting average. It is the only the second time when his average has come below 40.00, other one was 2016.

He has not scored a single half century till now and he has the worst strike rate among wicket-keepers in international cricket for 2018. His West Indies -counterpart - Shai Hope - is the other one with strike rate under 70.

Dhoni, who is well known for his aggressive batting, has also struggled to score runs at a fast pace this year. In the 12 innings he has played in 2018, the former Indian skipper has scored runs with a strike rate of 68.10 – worst in his career. It is quite a shocking statistic for Dhoni considering the fact that his strike rate has never come below 78.00 in his ODI career.

When it comes to boundaries, he has taken 19.47 balls to hit a boundary this year – his worst balls/boundary rate in the career and he has scored just two sixes in 2018 in ODIs – lowest in his career.

First Published: Oct 30, 2018 16:54 IST