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India vs New Zealand: Suresh Raina advocates MS Dhoni for No.4 batting slot

Suresh Raina said MS Dhoni is well equipped to bat with the tail-enders but if he is sent at number four, he can finish the games with batsmen at number five and six.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: January 24, 2019 13:42 IST
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MS Dhoni scored three back to back centuries in the ODI series against Australia

Echoing the views of vice-captain Rohit Sharma, batsman Suresh Raina has now backed former captain and wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni to come up the order and bat at number fourth position in One-Day International cricket.

During the recently-concluded three-match ODI series against Australia, Dhoni hit three back-to-back half-centuries to power India to their first bilateral ODI series victory against the Aussies Down Under.

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While India faced a defeat in the first ODI and Dhoni's 96-ball 51 came under heavy criticism for being slow, the 37-year-old stalwart fired all cylinders to orchestrate India's chase to perfection in the next two ODIs. He remained unbeaten in both the matches with scores of 55 and 87, respectively.

Raina said Dhoni is well equipped to bat with the tail-enders but if he is sent at number four, he can finish the games with batsmen at number five and six.

"Last couple of games (against Australia), he has been batting well. He can bat well with the tail-enders also. If he can bat at four, he can also finish games with the five, six and seven. A lot of players can play around him," Raina told Sportstar.

"He has been playing with a positive frame of mind. He is hitting the ball really well, and most importantly, he is getting a lot of backup and support from Virat (Kohli). If you have the support of the captain, then you just go out there and express yourself. The No 4 slot suits him," he added.

Earlier, India's ODI vice-captain Rohit also suggested that Dhoni was best suited for the number four slot.

"Personally, I always feel that Dhoni batting at number four will be ideal for the team but we have got Ambati Rayudu who has done really well now at number four. It totally depends on what the captain and coach think about it. Personally asking, I would be happy if Dhoni bats at four," Rohit, who scored 133 off 129 deliveries, said at the post-match conference.

However, Rohit's views differed from his captain Virat Kohli, who has expressed his preference for Rayudu to other players for the contentious position.

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