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  5. Exclusive | India's top order is currently the best in the world: Sourav Ganguly

Exclusive | India's top order is currently the best in the world: Sourav Ganguly

Lauding Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli for their explosive performances so far, Ganguly felt that this top order is currently the best in the world.

Brett Ellis Brett Ellis @Brettellis1907
New Delhi Updated on: January 28, 2019 23:26 IST
Exclusive | India's top order is currently the best in the world: Sourav Ganguly

Exclusive | India's top order is currently the best in the world: Sourav Ganguly

The Men in Blue have been running riot in One-day internationals and after conquering Australia, the Virat Kohli led Team India clinched the five-match series against New Zealand, taking an unassailable 3-0 lead with two matches to spare, which has made former skipper Sourav Ganguly extremely happy. 

A formidable Indian team imposed their dominance on an out of sorts New Zealand for a series-clinching seven-wicket win in the third ODI, continuing to send a resounding message of its near invincibility to every World Cup opposition.

On IndiaTV's show Cricket Ki Baat, Ganguly felt the performance has been better than the show they put up in Australia and it has been a 'great year' for the Men in Blue. 

Lauding Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli for their explosive performances so far, Ganguly felt that this top order is currently the best in the world.

"It's been a better performance than Australia. It has been complete domination and it's good to see them dominate at home and away as well. The confidence has been great and it's quite impressive to see the bowlers get them out in 50 overs. It's been a great year for India in ODIs,' Ganguly told IndiaTV.

Talking on India clinching the series 3-0, Ganguly lauded India's clinical performance, praising Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal's spells and the top order.

"Kulcha have strangled the New Zealand batsman and overall the team has been excellent. Especially Rohit and Kohli, who have been so consistent, you don't have such a top order in any other team in the world. India are ahead of other teams in ODI cricket. This might be one of the best World Cups we may witness." 

It was a complete team effort after the bowlers shot New Zealand out for 243 in 49 overs with all-rounder Hardik Pandya (2/45 in 10 overs) making his presence felt with the ball as well as on the field. (Match Scorecard)

The chase was a cakewalk with skipper Kohli (60, 74 balls) and his deputy Rohit Sharma (62, 77 balls) adding 113 runs for the second wicket to set up the victory in only 43 overs.

"A team cannot defeat India if you're putting on targets such as 200 or 250, the Indian batsman have shown the ability to chase down bigger targets. Whenever there is pressure, batsman like Rohit, Virat, Kedar or Dhoni respond with a six. They've learnt how to handle pressure." 

Also Read: Rohit Sharma equals MS Dhoni's record for most ODI sixes for India

Discussing India's middle-order, Ganguly feels that Kedar's presence changes the match's outcome as he can handle pressure situations calmly. 

'Kedar is a cricketer who can change the outcome of the match. He can handle pressure situations quite well as we saw against Australia. He's handy with the ball as well and takes wickets. You can play Dhoni at 4, Kedar at 5 and you also have a batsman in Shubman Gill, who should play in the remaining matches."

 
As all-rounder Hardik Pandya makes a stunning return to the squad, playing his first match after the suspension on him for sexist remarks on a TV show was lifted, claimed two wickets on his return. Ganguly felt that she showed 'great mental strength'. 

"He (Pandya) showed great mental strength. With time, everything cools off and his approach to the match was also quite better. He adds to the strength of the team," said Ganguly.

With Kohli rested for the remaining two ODIs and the T20Is against New Zealand, Rohit will lead the Men in Blue from here on. Talking on Kohli being rested, the former skipper feels that he deserves it. 

"He needs the rest. Virat plays all three formats and with his back giving trouble in between, it was a good decision to rest him, especially with Australia touring India, followed by the IPL and the World Cup," Ganguly concluded.

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