India v Australia, 2nd ODI, Nagpur October 27, 2009

Dhoni rules out batting promotion

Cricinfo staff
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India's captain MS Dhoni has ruled out a move up the order, citing the lack of space in the top four batting slots, in the face of a growing chorus advising him to bat higher as that would give him more overs to face.

"It's a difficult choice to make. We have Veeru [Virender Sehwag] and Sachin [Tendulkar] opening the innings, Gauti [Gautam Gambhir] at no. 3 and Yuvraj [Singh] at no 4. The next slot available is no. 5," Dhoni said on the eve of the second ODI against Australia.

"I float at times and bat in different slots. More often than not we have a fixed batting line when it comes to these four guys playing the game. If there are more off spinners in the attack we may shift Yuvraj to No. 5 and we have done that. But to say I have to bat every time at Nos. 3 or 4 is difficult for me [to do]."

Sourav Ganguly and Adam Gilchrist both recently expressed the view that Dhoni move up the order to allow him more overs to bat, and on Tuesday Sunil Gavaskar also advocated that Dhoni push himself up. "Those who are good players should always get most of the overs, especially during a run chase when the required rate is above five runs an over," he said. "The team management has to think over it [moving Dhoni up]. This is the reason why Sachin Tendulkar was promoted as an opener so that he gets all the 50 overs to play."

Gilchrist spoke in similar vein but with the empathy of a fellow wicketkeeper-batsman, and pointed out that Dhoni had the added weight of the captaincy. "He's (Dhoni) such a danger to play against. I would like to see him bat up the order especially in the abbreviated version of the game. You want your best batsmen to face as many deliveries as possible," he said. "He has a lot on his plate, I understand that. But I would encourage him to bat higher in the order. But its his decision."

India's bowling at the end of the innings was a concern for Dhoni. Against Australia in Vadodara, India conceded 54 in the last five overs while taking three wickets; against Pakistan in Centurion they gave 41 off the last five; against Sri Lanka in Colombo they leaked 53 between overs 45 -50."It's been a worrying thing for us for the past few months," said Dhoni. "We had not been great with our death bowling. If you see the last game, the first few overs - 42nd over onwards - it was good and in the 50th we gave away one run.

"In between there was a span of four overs when we gave away 50-52 runs. If we can bring that down good, say by two to five runs it can count at the end."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY JONAMKIRAB on | October 29, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    Harbhajan real Singh, who always plays like a king.His miracle innies @ Vododara reaily mind blowing. Other players should learn it.

  • POSTED BY evenflow_1990 on | October 28, 2009, 22:05 GMT

    well, dhoni just smacked a century ... i think the order is fine just the way it is LOL. just waiting for a sachin masterpiece ... i'm sure he won't disappoint =)

  • POSTED BY Saifalikahan on | October 28, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    World's Best Batsman Sachin Tendulker, He is not only century leading players, but he also scored almost 17000 runs. He is the world Number. India Should give him credit for his name.

  • POSTED BY spartan029 on | October 28, 2009, 10:37 GMT

    India's main problem is that sachin is still in team when he's not performing. A player of his class should score 25-30 runs at least when out of form. Just to keep him in the team on hopes of him firing sometime is just pathetic. Ponting is a far better batsman then tendulkar. Ponting scored most of these 12000 runs as a captain and not only he captained the team, he has led them to victory in major tournaments too. SACK sachin.

  • POSTED BY vv.chowdary on | October 28, 2009, 10:32 GMT

    Hai mates, i agree to that , sending Gautham and Sehwag as Openers in all formats , becoz they proved they are best when they are in nice form. sachin can come at no 3 , and i disagree with all others in Dhoni's matter , i think we are expecting too much from Dhoni , because he is captain , Captain can' win matches single handedly and they can't score 5o in every game. without scoring dhoni can't get that much score in his stats. Sooo don't worry too much about Dhoni's game.

  • POSTED BY imirfan on | October 28, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    Why dhoni is not opening instead of sehwag. why sehwag is so highly rated? I dont see his figures as impressive as dhine.

  • POSTED BY Langesbury on | October 28, 2009, 8:52 GMT

    Dhoni is class - he is a natural leader - never shies away from a challenge like Youraj - Dhoni sacrifices himself for the team.Gautam should open with sehwag. the slow,old, cautious sach can noodle away at 3 and yuvraj at 4 and Dhoni at 5. If you wanted the best to open then you would probably ask Lara to come back . I know the indian cricket board could make anything happen if they so need or want ;)

  • POSTED BY cricketiloveyou on | October 28, 2009, 8:44 GMT

    Then how Kaluwithrana,Mcullum,gillchrist and Kamran Akmal did in ODI, Keeping wichkets for 50 overs and opening the inings and vice versa. is dhoni is doing any extraordinary work other than that??? Please don't say Leading the team :-), other's are played well and india won the matches. not becaus of dhoni..... he is not intersted in pushing himself up the order instead of acting in advertisements..

  • POSTED BY Joby_George on | October 28, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    Is Dhoni bringing himself down the order and changed his batting style to maintain his batting average over 50?? Sometimes doubtful about this. I think he is another player who is spoiling his aggressive career and batting career because of captaincy.

  • POSTED BY Scorprince on | October 28, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    Agree with "ABP235" Comments...

    Veeru - Gauti should open the innings , sachin should be at no.3, yuvi , dhoni, raina..next

  • POSTED BY JONAMKIRAB on | October 29, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    Harbhajan real Singh, who always plays like a king.His miracle innies @ Vododara reaily mind blowing. Other players should learn it.

  • POSTED BY evenflow_1990 on | October 28, 2009, 22:05 GMT

    well, dhoni just smacked a century ... i think the order is fine just the way it is LOL. just waiting for a sachin masterpiece ... i'm sure he won't disappoint =)

  • POSTED BY Saifalikahan on | October 28, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    World's Best Batsman Sachin Tendulker, He is not only century leading players, but he also scored almost 17000 runs. He is the world Number. India Should give him credit for his name.

  • POSTED BY spartan029 on | October 28, 2009, 10:37 GMT

    India's main problem is that sachin is still in team when he's not performing. A player of his class should score 25-30 runs at least when out of form. Just to keep him in the team on hopes of him firing sometime is just pathetic. Ponting is a far better batsman then tendulkar. Ponting scored most of these 12000 runs as a captain and not only he captained the team, he has led them to victory in major tournaments too. SACK sachin.

  • POSTED BY vv.chowdary on | October 28, 2009, 10:32 GMT

    Hai mates, i agree to that , sending Gautham and Sehwag as Openers in all formats , becoz they proved they are best when they are in nice form. sachin can come at no 3 , and i disagree with all others in Dhoni's matter , i think we are expecting too much from Dhoni , because he is captain , Captain can' win matches single handedly and they can't score 5o in every game. without scoring dhoni can't get that much score in his stats. Sooo don't worry too much about Dhoni's game.

  • POSTED BY imirfan on | October 28, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    Why dhoni is not opening instead of sehwag. why sehwag is so highly rated? I dont see his figures as impressive as dhine.

  • POSTED BY Langesbury on | October 28, 2009, 8:52 GMT

    Dhoni is class - he is a natural leader - never shies away from a challenge like Youraj - Dhoni sacrifices himself for the team.Gautam should open with sehwag. the slow,old, cautious sach can noodle away at 3 and yuvraj at 4 and Dhoni at 5. If you wanted the best to open then you would probably ask Lara to come back . I know the indian cricket board could make anything happen if they so need or want ;)

  • POSTED BY cricketiloveyou on | October 28, 2009, 8:44 GMT

    Then how Kaluwithrana,Mcullum,gillchrist and Kamran Akmal did in ODI, Keeping wichkets for 50 overs and opening the inings and vice versa. is dhoni is doing any extraordinary work other than that??? Please don't say Leading the team :-), other's are played well and india won the matches. not becaus of dhoni..... he is not intersted in pushing himself up the order instead of acting in advertisements..

  • POSTED BY Joby_George on | October 28, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    Is Dhoni bringing himself down the order and changed his batting style to maintain his batting average over 50?? Sometimes doubtful about this. I think he is another player who is spoiling his aggressive career and batting career because of captaincy.

  • POSTED BY Scorprince on | October 28, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    Agree with "ABP235" Comments...

    Veeru - Gauti should open the innings , sachin should be at no.3, yuvi , dhoni, raina..next

  • POSTED BY LeoSaqib on | October 28, 2009, 7:49 GMT

    India's main problem is weak bowling.

  • POSTED BY 11tata on | October 28, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    pushing Dhoni to no5,then what is the batting line for suresh raina for chasing big scores,After shewag ,middle orders yuvraj and raina were capable persons to do it.Always keeping raina's order down under pressure -how can he play his normal shots.don't waste raina's batting strength.

  • POSTED BY shank26 on | October 28, 2009, 7:46 GMT

    Dhoni should bat with his own style and not to play slow cricket and irritate all the indian fans., its ok tat if he plays slowly when many wickets are gone., also sachin has almost got aged and irritates all the fans by playing too slow than sehwag and because of his slowness game even sehwag gets out., let sachin & Dhoni bat after every one and let them maintian their averages, let all the youngster play their natural game., its mere waste to watch india batting because all the other teams have got lot of improvement after the worldcup.

  • POSTED BY debapriyo on | October 28, 2009, 7:35 GMT

    The current player Dhoni compliments others as a batsman in the 50 over game if Yuvraj, Sehwag, Sachin, Raina etc can boost up the scoring rate. When others fail, Dhoni cannot win it. Dhoni is simply a spoiler of the game in 20-20 format, no matter what others do. I started being a fan of him because he used to back his strengths. No idea why, even when he needs to and he gets the lose balls, he cannot hit them nowadays.

    The sight of Dhoni sending balls to the boundary effortlessly is a distant memory now. When you get a length ball or a half volley, and you have the power, and you need to score runs, why would you not hit it for a six? There was a time when Dhoni was one of the only few who could do it so well. Now, most batsmen other than Dhoni can do it when its needed.

    Pathetic decline. We will see another Sourav Ganguly episode if he does not change himself. Captaincy, high average boosted by not outs and ICC awards are not going to save him.

  • POSTED BY ashwinsanth on | October 28, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    dhoni is not a batting great to merit such accolades.. I don remember a game he has won for us single handedly.. He only scores when everyone is scoring in a game and also comes one down when india is 120/1 or so and builds up on the good start.. He shies away from good challenges always..

  • POSTED BY harry_78 on | October 28, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    1. Sachin 2. Sehwag 3. Gambir. 4. Dhoni (if top orders gone early) 5. Yuvaraj (after 40 overs) 6. Raina/Kholi

  • POSTED BY niraj4nk on | October 28, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    Sachin should come at no. 3 and left opening place for Gambhir

  • POSTED BY critek on | October 28, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    Agree with err.. Romeo248 - Sachin shouldn't open. He gets lbw out in swinging conditions. gets bogged down during chases. But he will play freely if gauti and sehwag put 50 for the 1st wicket.

  • POSTED BY JaGggu on | October 28, 2009, 6:14 GMT

    Dhoni is slowly crumbling under pressure and losing his natural style of batting

  • POSTED BY Heavenation on | October 28, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    @ABP235

    Bad Idea,..,,coz Gambhir and Sehwag both are bashers..You can check that whenever Gambhir opens he takes too many risks and ditto with Sehwag...Sachin is the calming influence in them....I guess Raina, Yuvraj and Dhoni should rotate among themselves so that even the opposition is under surprise as to who'll come out next...May be sometimes even send in Harbhajan above all these batsman...

    and secondly, I dont blame Dhoni for playing slow in 1st ODI....coz it was the need of the hour...if Dhoni would have gone after the bowling, and would have lost his wicket....the same people would be bashing him up saying he played irresponsibly...Where India went wrong is in the Powerplay where they lost 3 crucial wickets....

    It was a good performance....apart from that Batting Powerplay

  • POSTED BY Abaa on | October 28, 2009, 5:36 GMT

    @ TellasisPatel - LoLz tht's wel pt :-D Specialy d part abt worryn abt battin averag ... Also agree wit ABP235 no1 cn replace or imitat Dravid !!!

  • POSTED BY 9fal on | October 28, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    Where is Dhoni's old Batting style

  • POSTED BY Romeo248 on | October 27, 2009, 22:45 GMT

    gauti and eeru should open and sachin at no.3 nowadays when sachin and veeru opens only one of them get going or both of them get out. The best pair nw is gauti and veeru and its also a left n right combination.

  • POSTED BY Gun88Gun88 on | October 27, 2009, 21:22 GMT

    doni should bat at number eight after bhaji!

  • POSTED BY ABP235 on | October 27, 2009, 19:55 GMT

    I dont quite agree with all these greats. Its like terming someone like Suresh Raina useless! Dhoni probably was to blame for a close loss in the first ODI by playing too slowly by his standards, playing ahead of Raina. He should revert back to his natural fast game and play at no.6. its no use him imitating Rahul Dravid or batting at Dravid's position. He should realise no one can replace the Wall, leave alone imitating him. Also, Gambhir should open the innings with Sehwag (good left right combination), and Sachin should bat at No.3 with Yuvraj coming in later which will keep the left right combination and not to forget Raina + Dhoni will continue that combination at 5 & 6, which puts a lot of strain on the opponents' bowlers.

  • POSTED BY TellasisPatel on | October 27, 2009, 19:05 GMT

    Skipper Dhoni must be kicking himself for playing so slow in the #4 slot in the first ODI that we lost by only 4 runs. His own batting performance should also be a concern to him. In limited over cricket perhaps Raina and Harbhajansingh (also Pathan brothers if they are playing) should play ahead of Dhoni. They do not fear that their batting average may suffer if they get out while being aggressive. Thank you.

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  • POSTED BY TellasisPatel on | October 27, 2009, 19:05 GMT

    Skipper Dhoni must be kicking himself for playing so slow in the #4 slot in the first ODI that we lost by only 4 runs. His own batting performance should also be a concern to him. In limited over cricket perhaps Raina and Harbhajansingh (also Pathan brothers if they are playing) should play ahead of Dhoni. They do not fear that their batting average may suffer if they get out while being aggressive. Thank you.

  • POSTED BY ABP235 on | October 27, 2009, 19:55 GMT

    I dont quite agree with all these greats. Its like terming someone like Suresh Raina useless! Dhoni probably was to blame for a close loss in the first ODI by playing too slowly by his standards, playing ahead of Raina. He should revert back to his natural fast game and play at no.6. its no use him imitating Rahul Dravid or batting at Dravid's position. He should realise no one can replace the Wall, leave alone imitating him. Also, Gambhir should open the innings with Sehwag (good left right combination), and Sachin should bat at No.3 with Yuvraj coming in later which will keep the left right combination and not to forget Raina + Dhoni will continue that combination at 5 & 6, which puts a lot of strain on the opponents' bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Gun88Gun88 on | October 27, 2009, 21:22 GMT

    doni should bat at number eight after bhaji!

  • POSTED BY Romeo248 on | October 27, 2009, 22:45 GMT

    gauti and eeru should open and sachin at no.3 nowadays when sachin and veeru opens only one of them get going or both of them get out. The best pair nw is gauti and veeru and its also a left n right combination.

  • POSTED BY 9fal on | October 28, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    Where is Dhoni's old Batting style

  • POSTED BY Abaa on | October 28, 2009, 5:36 GMT

    @ TellasisPatel - LoLz tht's wel pt :-D Specialy d part abt worryn abt battin averag ... Also agree wit ABP235 no1 cn replace or imitat Dravid !!!

  • POSTED BY Heavenation on | October 28, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    @ABP235

    Bad Idea,..,,coz Gambhir and Sehwag both are bashers..You can check that whenever Gambhir opens he takes too many risks and ditto with Sehwag...Sachin is the calming influence in them....I guess Raina, Yuvraj and Dhoni should rotate among themselves so that even the opposition is under surprise as to who'll come out next...May be sometimes even send in Harbhajan above all these batsman...

    and secondly, I dont blame Dhoni for playing slow in 1st ODI....coz it was the need of the hour...if Dhoni would have gone after the bowling, and would have lost his wicket....the same people would be bashing him up saying he played irresponsibly...Where India went wrong is in the Powerplay where they lost 3 crucial wickets....

    It was a good performance....apart from that Batting Powerplay

  • POSTED BY JaGggu on | October 28, 2009, 6:14 GMT

    Dhoni is slowly crumbling under pressure and losing his natural style of batting

  • POSTED BY critek on | October 28, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    Agree with err.. Romeo248 - Sachin shouldn't open. He gets lbw out in swinging conditions. gets bogged down during chases. But he will play freely if gauti and sehwag put 50 for the 1st wicket.

  • POSTED BY niraj4nk on | October 28, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    Sachin should come at no. 3 and left opening place for Gambhir