MS Dhoni has been a wonderful part of India cricket, playing an important role in helping India win matches with his willow. The ODI captain, similarly, scored an important 80 runs coming in to bat at number four in the third ODI against New Zealand, to help India take 2-1 lead in the best of five series.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri feels Dhoni coming up the order to bat at number four was an excellent move. Shastri explained how Dhoni batting higher up helps him and also considers number four to be an ideal position for the Jharkhand man.
"It gives him more time to adjust to the conditions and the match situation. Like he himself said, it allows him to play the big shots earlier than normal. Dhoni at No 4 can do what he used to do at No 5 and 6 without taking risks. There are others lower down the order who can do the finishing," Bangalore Mirror quoted Shastri as saying.
"Once he is in, he will close the game quicker than anyone. He might have taken 30 balls for the first 10 runs, but by the time he reaches 60/70, he and Virat (like on Sunday) were going at the same speed. No 4 is the ideal position. It's ideal, because he puts a little more responsibility on himself."
There are two matches left in the ODI series against New Zealand, and Dhoni is expected to bat at number four in Ranchi and Vizag. With Suresh Raina being ruled out of the side, it makes more sense for Dhoni to promote himself as other batsmen like Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey lack the much-needed experience in the middle order.
After the New Zealand series, Dhoni will be seen in action against England in the ODI format early next year, and one will not be surprised if the captain decides to bat at number four against the Englishmen as well.
However, there is a drawback with Dhoni batting higher up, as there will be no finisher, who can score quick runs at the end.
There have been times when critics have come hard on Dhoni when he has not been able to deliver in the recent past, but the former coach took a dig at such people.
"They (critics) can take a walk to have their chai-pani. Dhoni is one of the all-time dadas of the game. If you talk one-day cricket, the first name that will ever come to mind is MS Dhoni. Period," said Shastri.