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

Dhoni rules out batting promotion

Cricinfo staff

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

  • M@noj 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.

  • Vishwanath 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 =)

  • Saif 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.

  • spartan 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.

  • Venkat 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.

  • irfan 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.

  • Duncan 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 ;)

  • vijayananthan 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..

  • 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.

  • Naveen 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,

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