MS Dhoni has batted at various positions for India with roaring success, scoring runs all over the world. He is considered to be one of the greatest finishers in world cricket, and despite being at the fag end of his career, he is looked upon as the man to carry India through to victories in limited-overs cricket.
With the emergence of big-hitting sensation, Hardik Pandya, who is also helping to finish games for India, a debate has come to the open. Where should Dhoni and Pandya bat for Team India?
Dhoni might have been used as a floater in the past, and now Pandya is batting in different positions, including going up the order as one saw during the Australia ODI series. He batted at number four too, which seems to have been the brainwork of head coach Ravi Shastri.
However there is a catch when Pandya is promoted up the batting order.
Dhoni will have to bat at either six or seven, which is not an ideal position for the former captain as he has emerged as a more composed cricketer in the last couple of years. He is no longer the player, who comes and smacks the leather off the ball from the start. Pandya seems to be gradually taking that role. Now, one does not know whether Dhoni should bat at 4, 5 or 6.
Former India coach Lalchand Rajput, who helped India win World T20 2007, considers Dhoni still to be the best finisher.
"There is no fixed batting position as Dhoni can bat at any position for Team India. India should use him as per the match situation as he is India's best finisher. If Dhoni coming above or below Pandya helps India, that should be done accordingly," Rajput told International Business Times, India.
Though the debate about the batting position in the middle order has been discussed quite often of late, one thing is for sure, captain Virat Kohli and coach Shastri have two wonderful finishers, who can help India win matches.
Both Pandya and Dhoni should be used wisely as India should have a clear idea about their roles in the "Men in Blue" prepare for the 2019 World Cup.
From Saturday (October 7), India host Australia in a three-match Twenty20 International series.