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Dhoni Should Bat Higher Up The Order, Says Gilchrist

Former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist wants Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni should bat higher up the order,  enabling him to play as many overs as possible. "He's (Dhoni) such a danger to play

PTI [ Updated: October 27, 2009 20:34 IST ]
dhoni should bat higher up the order says gilchrist
dhoni should bat higher up the order says gilchrist

Former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist wants Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni should bat higher up the order,  enabling him to play as many overs as possible.

"He's (Dhoni) such a danger to play against. I would like to see him bat up the order especially in the abbreviated version of the game. You want your best batsmen to face as many deliveries as possible," Gilchrist told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday. 

"He has a lot on his plate, I understand that. But I would encourage him to bat higher in the order," Gilchrist said, adding, "Dhoni paces his innings well. But it's his decision."

Gilchrist said missing speedsters Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and all-rounder James Hopes, who have been ruled out of the second ODI due to injuries, was a huge blow for the Aussies.

"It will be a huge blow. Any injury is. India felt the absence of Yuvraj Singh (in the first ODI) and I am sure he will be welcomed back," he said.

Predicting an intense series, the 37-year-old player said that India team would be strenghtened with the return of explosive Yuvraj Singh.

"The series will be evenly fought. Both team showed fighting qualities. I won't predict the scoreline but with Yuvraj's return, I think Indian team would be more dangerous," he said.

Gilchrist named southpaw Yuvraj, pacer Ishant Sharma and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh as the "impact players" for India and Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting and left-hander Michael Hussey for the visitors.

On sacking of Indian fielding coach Robin Singh, he said, "It's an area you need to be committed in this age. India should be out there in search of someone in that position."

Commenting on the performance of Rohit Sharma, whom he captained as skipper of the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gilchrist said he was surprised by his removal from the Indian team.

"Though I haven't followed his figures, I am surprised by the selector's view that he cannot be a part of his team. I am a big fan of his and would like to see him develop into a good player for India. He's got the skills and the talent..he's learning," he said.

Meanwhile batting great Sunil Gavaskar on Tuesday joined the list of former players who believe India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni should bat higher in the order.

Echoing the opinions of former India captain Sourav Ganguly and retired Australian stumper Adam Gilchrist, Gavaskar said, "Those who are good players should always get

most of the overs, especially during a run chase when the required rate is above five runs an over. The team management has to think over it.

"This is the reason why Sachin Tendulkar was promoted as an opener so that he gets all the 50 overs to play," Gavaskar told reporters.

 On the criticism of Harbhajan Singh, who disappointed with the ball in the first ODI against Australia, the legendary opener said the off-spinner would bounce back.

 "He is not the only bowler to get hit. He is a class bowler and will bounce back," Gavaskar said.

On India's poor fielding, Gavaskar blamed the outfield at the Indian grounds and the junior level coaches for it.

"The outfields in India are so tough that they do not encourage diving and sliding. Besides, it is the responsibility of the junior level coaches to teach the cricketers this aspect of the game. It is difficult for them to learn these things once they grow up," he said.

Asked to predict a winner in the ongoing seven-match ODI series, Gavaskar said,"The sort of fight India gave in the first match, I hope they will win the series."  

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