Raina backs Dhoni to move up in batting-order
By Aditya Pratap - Feb 17, 2018 6:17 am
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Before the commencement of the ODI series between India and South Africa, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was required 102 runs to reach the landmark of 10,000 ODI runs. After the conclusion of the series, Dhoni still required 33 more runs to get into an elite list. Such has been his performance with the bat throughout the series.

MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina

Apart from an unbeaten 43 in Johannesburg, Indian wicketkeeper failed miserably. Also, those runs were not sufficient to win India the match as it was the lone defeat for visitors in the series. However, he has been excellent with gloves in his hand, but it is his finishing ability which has lost its talisman since last one year or so.

Also Read: Raina tells the story of his comeback

Veteran batsman Suresh Raina feels Dhoni should start batting slightly up in the Indian line-up. Raina has played a lot of cricket with Dhoni and they are one of the most successful ODI pairs. Either it is Team India of Indian Premier League, they both played together and form a lethal batting partnership.

Raina urged him to drop his regular position of the finisher and start getting some time in the middle.

“I feel MS Dhoni can do better up the order. He can hit better and get more time. He is the kind of player who if he plays up the order will always keep the team in a strong position,” Raina quoted.

“The T20I series will be important, then there’s the series in Bangladesh and the IPL. But the experience of 50-overs cricket is very important. It makes a lot of difference – when you play at that position (nos 4 and 5 in the middle order), you won’t get any sleep.”

MS Dhoni

“You have to keep chipping in – you have to bowl well and field well so the captain and coach always feel you are a utility player. You have to keep changing gears – if the top three perform well and the middle order does well we can chase down 34- or 350. Whenever Rohit, Shikhar, and Kohli play, they always score big,” southpaw further added.

Also Read: Dhoni opted to bowl leg-spin in nets

He concluded while saying “I was down because I wasn’t playing. I didn’t know why I was not playing. I had scored a half-century vs South Africa. I did not give up hope and I will give it my all when I play for my country.”

Raina has made a comeback in the Indian team after almost one year and will be seen in action during the T20I series, which will commence from Sunday.