Cuttack: India captain Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said that the team management feels veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni will excel at the No.4 batting position after the wicket-keeper stroked an unbeaten 39 during 93-run win over Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 International (T20I).
Dhoni blasted 39 off just 22 deliveries with the help of four fours and a six as India posted 180/3 in 20 overs on a two-paced wicket.
The 36-year-old right-hander shared an unbeaten 68-run stand with Manish Pandey (32 not out off 18).
Rohit said that Dhoni can bat freely at the No.4 position, not taking pressure in finishing the innings.
“He didn’t get much batting in the ODIs but shows that class is permanent. We expect a lot from him and No.4 position paid off. He is someone who’s played and won so many games, so moving forward we feel, in this format, he can bat at No.4 will be ideal which can allow Manish (Pandey) and Dinesh (Karthik) to finish the innings,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“For a long time, MS has taken up the role of finishing and we feel it’s time for someone else to do the job. MS can play freely in the middle.”
Rohit was all praise for leg-spinner Yuzvender Chahal (4/23) and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav (2/18) who helped India bowl Sri Lanka out for 87.
“Those two guys (Chahal and Kuldeep), if you look at their careers over the last few months, they have always been a wicket-taking option in the middle. It’s important to understand what the team expects them and they’ve delivered. They don’t fail to impress us,” he said.