MS Dhoni is readymade No. 4 for Team India: Krishnamachari Srikkanth

NEW DELHI: Former Indian opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth backed former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to be India’s No. 4 batsman in the upcoming World Cup.
All-rounder Vijay Shankar took the No. 4 slot which was speculated to go to Ambati Rayudu before his dip in form in the home series against Australia last month.
In his column for the Times of India, Srikkanth wrote, “For long, the No. 4 position has been much debated and frankly, I think too much has been made about that. In my opinion, India has a readymade No. 4 in MS Dhoni. I don’t think there is anyone better suited for that slot than the former skipper himself and why he has not been allowed to bat there consistently remains a mystery. Given the manner in which Dhoni played in Australia and in the ongoing IPL, there is no doubt that he has some quality left in the tank. Of course, the attacks that Dhoni will come up against in the World Cup will pose sterner tests, but that does not mean he can’t carry the team around.”
Dhoni has been in superb form in the ongoing Indian Premier League and has so far amassed 358 runs from 11 matches for the Chennai Super Kings.
“It goes without saying that Dhoni’s lack of instant firepower was held against him, but in 50-over cricket, one has enough time to pace his innings. No one bats with a better vision in ODI cricket than Dhoni. Once he has his engines cranked, Dhoni is one of the toughest batsmen to bowl to. Mixing caution with aggression is his biggest strength, especially when his team is chasing. Agreed his strike rate might have come down a touch, but that is only in keeping with the situation in hand. His approach has been more thoughtful in the last five-six years and it also has a lot to do with Dhoni’s self-belief, where he takes the game to the end and more often than not, finish the game,” Srikkanth added.
In the match against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday, Dhoni effected two brilliant stumpings to dismiss Shreyas Iyer and Chris Morris.
“The wicketkeeping skills have remained intact. The stumpings against Delhi Capitals proved his ability behind the stumps can alone be the pivot on which matches will turn. His inputs, reflex behind the stumps and form with the bat will all hold the team in good stead in England. Very few players can lift their team with their sheer presence. In my playing days it was Kapil Dev and later Sachin Tendulkar. Likewise, Dhoni is someone who can inspire by just being with the team. Dhoni in his current form adds a lot of confidence, it does augur well for Chennai Super Kings as well at the business end of the IPL. With him at the helm, the team wears a different aura and looks almost unbeatable,” Srikkanth concluded.