New Delhi: Rohit Sharma is an attacking batsman around whom India build their innings in one-dayers, but his absence should not have been the reason for India for failing to chase Australia’s huge total in the first One-day International in Sydney on Friday, legendary West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding has said. He also felt India would struggle in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
India lost by 66 runs, after Australia, batting first, piled up 374 for six wickets in 50 overs. Virat Kohli’s team was then restricted to 308 for eight wickets in 50 overs.
Sharma was controversially not picked for the two white ball series as he is recovering from an injury. He will also miss the first two Tests of the four-match series that will start in December, after ODI and T20 series.
“They wanted someone like Rohit Sharma at the top of the order because Rohit Sharma was the type of batsman that was looking to bat long. He is really attacking, he’s very attacking. But he is usually the man they build their innings around…and then Shikhar Dhwan and Virat Kohli, those guys go out and play shots around the stability of Rohit Sharma. He was missing this time around. That should not have been the main reason not getting these runs,” Holding said on YouTube Channel ‘Mikey–Holding Nothing Back.
Holding felt that the Indian team also missed the stabilising factor of someone like Dhoni, who has retired from all forms of cricket, except the IPL.
“India has some good players but one thing I know for sure is that Kohli’s team will struggle with the loss of MS Dhoni. As we know, when Dhoni used to come to bat midway, he used to take control of the chase. India have chased so well in the past with Dhoni in the team and they have never been afraid to win the toss and insert the opposition because they know what Dhoni is capable of,” said the West Indian.
“This batting line-up that they have got is still very talented, we saw some talented players and fantastic strokeplay. But they still need a player like Dhoni. Not just Dhoni’s skills but his strength of character.”