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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Score from first ball: Virender Sehwag’s advice to under fire MS Dhoni

Virender Sehwag has asked the Indian cricket team management to specify MS Dhoni about his role in the India T20 cricket team. Though Dhoni scored 49 off 37 balls in the second T20 against New Zealand, his inability to score runs at a fast pace was pointed out by many ex-India players.

india-vs-new-zealand-2017 Updated: Nov 06, 2017 22:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
MS Dhoni should be made to understand his role in Indian cricket team, according to Virender Sehwag.
MS Dhoni should be made to understand his role in Indian cricket team, according to Virender Sehwag.(Hindustan Times)

MS Dhoni is facing some serious questions on his batting after New Zealand beat India in the second T20 in Rajkot. The former India captain played 10 dot balls as the Virat Kohli-led side fell short by 40 runs in a 197-run chase on Saturday.

Though Dhoni scored 49 off 37 balls, his inability to score runs at a fast pace while chasing a big total was pointed out by many former India players, including VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar.

READ | ‘MS Dhoni won’t be missed in Indian T20 cricket team, time to look beyond him’

‘Dhoni need to realise role’

Now, Virender Sehwag has joined the chorus and has asked the Indian team management to specify Dhoni about his role in the India T20 team.

“Dhoni should realise his role in the team. He has to change the momentum early while chasing a strong total. He has to score from ball one and the team management should make him understand this point,” Sehwag told ‘India TV’.

The 36-year-old Dhoni had a strike rate of 132 at the end of his innings, but the inability to rotate strike prompted some to raise questions.

READ | India vs New Zealand: Indian camp dismisses calls for MS Dhoni’s T20 ouster

Sehwag, who played 104 Tests and 251 One-Day Internationals, though felt the Virat Kohli-led side needed Dhoni at the moment.

“Team India needs MS Dhoni at the moment, even in T20 cricket. He will step down at the right time. He will never block the way for any young cricketer,” the big-hitting opener said.

‘Dhoni won’t be missed’

VVS Laxman had earlier said: “I still feel it’s time for MS Dhoni to give youngsters a chance in T20 format. It will be an opportunity for a youngster to blossom and get confidence playing international cricket.”

Former India all-rounder Ajit Agarkar made scathing remarks on Dhoni, stating that the time he takes to settle down isn’t pardonable in the T20 format.

READ | India vs New Zealand: T20 decider set for ODI thriller repeat, rain permitting

“Over the last few games he (Dhoni) takes a little bit of time and in T20 cricket there is no time. He’s come in to bat in the 10th over. How many times do you get to bat in a T20 game? So that’s enough time for any batsman. I think India need to look at other options for T20 cricket for sure, in one day cricket… It seems they’re happy with the role that he’s playing but in T20, when he was captain it was different, but just as a batsman, will India miss him? I don’t think so,” he said.

Inability to rotate strike

During his stay in the middle, Dhoni scored 26 runs in boundaries from five deliveries (3x6, 2x4) but managed only 23 from the remaining 32 deliveries.

Sehwag had earlier said that the Indian team was “yet to find a suitable replacement” for Dhoni.

Sehwag said all-rounder Hardik Pandya should be allowed to stick to his batting position.

The three-match series is levelled at 1-1, with the decider taking place at Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 22:06 IST