New Delhi, May 23 (GCSports) As the Indian cricket team landed in London for the World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar said that MS Dhoni shouldn’t be disturbed from his ideal place at number 5 and promoted to number 4, as the team has quality batsmen for that position.
In recent days there have been suggestions from the cricket fraternity that India should have quality batsmen at No. 4. Vice-captain Rohit Sharma had said that the former skipper should be promoted to play at No. 4.
India has tried Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik for the No.4 slot.
“My personal opinion is Dhoni should be batting at five. I still don’t know what the team combination would be, but if you are going Rohit and Shikhar as openers, to Virat [Kohli] at No. 3 and whoever at No. 4 then Dhoni could be No. 5. Then Hardik Pandya, an explosive player, follows them,” Tendulkar said, disagreeing with others.
‘Now, a number of things have been discussed as far as slot No. 4 is concerned, but I feel if you have quality batsmen then they should be able to adjust their style of play at whichever number they are asked to bat. I think we have that quality which can go out and deliver at whatever number they have been sent.’ he told ESPNcricinfo.
Asked about Hardik Pandya, who might become the most important player if India goes all the way up in the tournament, Tendulkar replied, ‘Looking at the way how Hardik has played in the IPL, he is connecting the ball really well. He hasn’t slogged, to be honest. He has played proper cricketing shots, which is an advantage because that is how one would get more consistent. That is going to work in his favour. Hardik, of course, has gone to England with lots and lots of confidence and positive energy, which will reflect on the field.’
‘This is going to be a big tournament for him. I am hoping that we, as a team, move forward and go all the way till the end and give a reason for the whole nation to smile and celebrate,’ he added.
About Shikhar Dhawan who is the only left-hander in the team and needs to bat as deep as he can, Tendulkar said, ‘Yes, of course. A left-right combination always helps because that means the bowler has to adjust his line every now and then and the [bowling] captain has to keep thinking. And if there is a partnership the job becomes even more tougher.
So, yes, it is important for a left-hander to be there to put pressure on the legspinner or for that matter any bowler.’
The Indian team will play two practice matches against New Zealand (May 25) and Bangladesh (May 28) before they begin their campaign in the main tournament against South Africa on June 5.