Veteran Indian crickeyer Suresh Raina, who departed from the IPL 2020 camp in Dubai last week citing "personal reasons", believes Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni is the best batsman to replace him at No.3 in the batting lineup.
In conversation with Outlook, Raina justified his point by recalling the captain's impressive 148-run knock in 2005 against Pakistan at home.
"He has the experience to bat at that position. How can one forget Dhoni's 148 against Pakistan in the second ODI at Visakhapatnam in April 2005," said Raina.
The former Indian cricketer also reckons that Dhoni has the ability to "win a match single-handedly and can change the course of a match anytime."
"It's a very crucial position and the No. 3 position will give Dhoni more flexibility," said Raina.
A few days earlier, his former Indian teammate, Gautam Gambhir had spoken on the same line suggesting the CSK management to push Dhoni up the order at No.3.
"It will be a good opportunity for MS Dhoni to come and bat at No. 3. And he has been away from the game for the last one year, so he would end up getting a lot more balls to face and then he can actually play the anchor innings as well which he has been doing for India for the last couple of years," Gambhir said on Star Sports' show Cricket Connected.
"So, MS Dhoni at No. 3 and then they have got depth with Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran, all those guys they can come in. So, I think it is going to be a great opportunity for someone like MS Dhoni and I am sure he is going to relish that. Also, Suresh Raina not being there, you want to have some experienced player batting at No. 3, so it could be MS Dhoni now."
IPL 2020 will start on September 19 with the final on November 10. The schedule is likely to be announced on Sunday (September 6).