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  5. Exclusive | Sourav Ganguly backs MS Dhoni at No.4 ahead of World Cup

Exclusive | Sourav Ganguly backs MS Dhoni at No.4 ahead of World Cup

MS Dhoni hit three fifties and scored 193 runs in the three-match ODI series against Australia that India won 2-1.

India TV Sports Desk Written by: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Updated on: January 21, 2019 12:33 IST
MS Dhoni
Image Source : @ICC TWITTER

MS Dhoni scored 193 runs in the three-match series against Australia

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said that according to him, India should stick to Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav in the middle-order in the upcoming ODIs ahead of the World Cup later this year.

Ganguly said that the way Dhoni has batted will give him a lot of confidence and the No.4 position is also perfect for him in ODI cricket.

"The way Dhoni has batted in the series...we have seen him play like this after a long time. India have played well and again won a series 2-1 after being 1-0 down."

"A lot was said about Dhoni after the Adelaide ODI, where he batted slow but we spoke about how the innings will give him confidence and that is exactly what happened.

"I think Kedar will play No.5 and Dhoni will play at No.4. So I think India will go with this combination only because you gave someone an opportunity and they grabbed it. So Kohli at 3, Dhoni 4 and Jadhav at 5 followed by Karthik.

"No.4 is right for Dhoni because it gives him time to settle in and score runs and build an innings. So this combination is fine," Ganuly said in IndiaTV's show Cricket Ki Baat on Friday.

"A good thing that India got from this match was Kedar Jadhav. When India was in a fix, he took the game out along with Dhoni. He had not batted in the series.. He had not played a practice match and was just batting in the nets. So scoring runs in the middle makes a difference and he will take confidence from this," he added.

The 46-year-old feels that the team will only look balanced when people score runs in the middle and the win at Melbourne proved that.

"The balance will only look better when everyone scores. Dhoni scored today and Jadhav chipped in as well. So the balance looked good today. Dhoni scored runs, Jadhav also looked in good touch and Dinesh Karthik also chipped in with runs. So, form is important. Performance solves everything and MS Dhoni will get a lot of confidence from his," Ganguly said.

He also brushed aside any belief that Kohli has not contributed enough in the series. According to him, Kohli's contribution was not up to his monumental standards but he has done his bit as well.

"Virat's contribution might not be like Virat's standards but in the second match, if he had not scored a century, India wouldn't have won. So I understand his contribution has been immense and people say he hasn't been great when he scored 40s and 50s but his contribution has been equally important," Ganguly said.

Ganguly also said that it was difficult for Australia to win the game after getting bowled out for 230 at the MCG.

"I'm not surprised that Chahal has troubled them because wrist-spinners trouble the Aussie batsman always. We spoke about spinners taking wickets ahead of the series and his spell proved that again. Once Australia were out for 230, it was always going to be India's game," he said.

He concluded by saying that the tour of New Zealand will be difficult but he hopes the team keeps up the good form.

"I hope India will play a lot better cricket against New Zealand, which is going to be a lot difficult," Ganguly concluded.

With the historic series win in Australia, India will now travel to New Zealand to play five ODIs and three T20Is, with the first ODI on January 23 in Napier.

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