MS Dhoni struggling at the moment, India too top-heavy: Sourav Ganguly

first_imgSourav Ganguly was critical of the Indian team management’s handling of KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane and reckoned the side was too dependent on the top three – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli.India lost the three-match ODI series to England at Leeds on Tuesday – it was their first series loss since January 2016 and came after another poor show by the middle-order. Rohit got a hundred in the first match while Kohli scored two half-centuries at Old Trafford and Leeds. Dhawan was far from his best and that meant the onus was on the middle-order to fire.In fact, the India’s batsmen from Nos 4 to 6, had a strike rate of only 66. Overall, they scored 156 runs from seven innings they played in the series. Suresh Raina’s 46 was the best effort by the middle-order.More disconcerting was MS Dhoni’s form. At Lord’s, he failed to get going when India needed some big hits during a steep chase while at Leeds, he scored a scratchy 42. And then there was the bizarre decision to leave KL Rahul out of the last ODI after plenty of pre-series hype given his form in the IPL and the T20Is.Also read – Rishabh Pant named in India squad for first 3 Tests vs EnglandGanguly said Dhoni needed to do more if he is to play in the 2019 World Cup.”If Dhoni has got to play, then he has got to get in a position where he keeps hitting. If it is 24-25 overs and he has got to build an innings, he is struggling at the moment.advertisement”He may turn it around as he has been a great player for India but at the present he is not turning it around enough and this has been going on for more than an year,” said Ganguly.Also read – MS Dhoni asks for match ball after Leeds ODI. Twitter is abuzz”India are too top heavy at the moment. If your top-order doesn’t get runs, then you are struggling. It is a big issue. You have to have quality like England have,” said Ganguly in his post-match analysis for the official broadcasters.Ganguly said he would bat Rahul at number four, behind Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli. On Tuesday, for the series-decider, India decided to bring in Dinesh Karthik instead.”Eyes closed, I will have Rahul at four. Your top four have to be the best players and you got to persist with them. Go and speak to Rahul and say ‘we will give you 15 games’. Just go and play.Also read – India vs England: Root, Morgan and English spinners snap India’s winning run”They (the team management) are not giving enough opportunities at the moment. Rahul got the fantastic hundred at Manchester and now he was dropped. You won’t be able to produce players like that. Same for Rahane.”These are your two best batsmen. You have to have solid number four and five. Then you decide between Dinesh Karthik or MS Dhoni at six and Hardik Pandya at seven,” said one of India’s most successful captains.Ganguly said there was too much pressure on Kohli and Rohit at the moment. The former captain said India won the ODI series in South Africa because of Kohli’s three hundreds (he finished with 558 runs from six matches).Also read – Virat Kohli wants India to move on after first ODI series defeat since 2016Ganguly felt Rahul and Rahane were not being looked after properly.”I think two of your best batsmen (Rahane and Rahul) are not being looked after properly. I am not saying it is deliberate but it is my opinion either of the two have to be played at four because it is too much pressure, especially on Rohit and Virat Kohli.”In South Africa, India did well because Kohli got three hundreds. If he doesn’t get a hundred, you will have issues.”(With PTI inputs)last_img

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