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  5. Exclusive | MS Dhoni's form biggest positive for India from Australia and New Zealand tours: Sourav Ganguly

Exclusive | MS Dhoni's form biggest positive for India from Australia and New Zealand tours: Sourav Ganguly

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said that MS Dhoni's form in Australia and New Zealand was the biggest positive for India ahead of the World Cup.

India TV Sports Desk Written by: India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: February 10, 2019 22:16 IST
MS Dhoni
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit three consecutive fifties against Australia 

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's return to form was the biggest positive for India in their three-month long Trans-Tasman tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Dhoni scored three back to back fifties and was the man-of-the-series against Australia in the three-match ODI series and he followed it up with a 48 in the ODIs as well as scores of 39 and 20 not out in the New Zealand T20s.

With questions raised about the veteran's form, Dhoni answered the critics in style ahead of the World Cup and Ganguly feels this was the biggest positive for the Men in Blue going into the World Cup.

"The biggest positive for India was MS Dhoni because his performance from the past one year didn't show he will go to the World Cup. He may be a bit bad today but overall he has improved a lot in the Australia and New Zealand series. So, this is the biggest positive for India," Ganguly said in IndiaTV's show Cricket Ki Baat.

"Vijay Shankar improved his batting and Rishabh Pant played well too but I don't think Shankar will go to the World Cup.

"Shami's bowling in the ODI was the biggest positive," he added.

Ganguly also said that losing the series shouldn't be too much of a concern for India as they played well throughout and there will be moments like this and the big score on the board costed the visitors the game. 

"You need to understand that they are human beings and they can't win every series. India won 10 series and this would have been the 11th. So, I feel this is a good team and it was a the big score pressure that India failed to win the match," Ganguly said.

"I felt New Zealand batted really well and India dropped catches and some were difficult but if you don't take cacthes, you will lose. So, if they had taken the catches, they could have restricted New Zealand to 190-195. 

"But, New Zealand really played well in the T20 series," he added.

The 46-year-old also said that the cropping and changing of the XI was necessary to test the bench strength ahead of the World Cup later this year.

"The reason was to give new players chance and if you dont test Shankar, Pant and Khaleel, you wont know if they can play under pressure. So, I feel it was okay from India to do that. The year I feel was a good one for India in limited-ovrs series. They have won series in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. So, I feel, it was needed to test the players ahead of the World Cup.

"The only thing were I feel we can improve is I feel fielding and India will definitey look into it," Ganguly said.

The former captain also pointed out that India should keep Kuldeep Yadav under wraps if they want to keep the surprise factor intact till the World Cup.

"India had Krunal and he bowled really well, took three wickets and won the match for India. You cant change the team in every match and You need to use Kuldeep as a surprise package. If you play him in every match, batsmen will figure him out. So, you need to protect him to keep that surprise package intact till the World Cup," Ganguly said when asked about excluding Kuldeep from the XI in the first two T20Is.

The southpaw also downplayed any cause of concern regarding Rohit Sharma not firing all cylinders in the T20Is.

"There will be times when big players won't make runs. There will be days when Rohit plays with ease but today he was not timing it. So, he was playing steadily and with young players. He had to play the game to the end but failed. However, there will be days when you fail to do so.

"But the big score was the reason because when there will be a big score on the board it will be difficult," Ganguly said.

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