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Why Mahendra Singh Dhoni should be in India's ICC World Cup Squad
The social media is rife with questions about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s performance in the ODI match that Indian lost to the Australians at Sydney on the weekend. The pros and cons of including Dhoni in the World Cup squad, as the BCCI, the Indian board selectors and the team management have confirmed as long as a year back or more, are discussed back and forth. Source The fans, both pro-Dhoni’s inclusion in the ICC World Cup squad and those against it are wasting their time discussing the issue. Dhoni will be just more than a month shy of 38 years by the time that India plays their first match in the World Cup against the South African. He is, despite his age, among the fittest cricketers among those in the current squad and has a mind that is as astute as any cricketer that has ever played the game. He is also the best wicketkeeper in the game today in India. Moreover, he is an asset merely by his presence on the field and in the dressing room because of his calm demeanour in any and all kinds of situations. At Sydney, the other day, India was in dire straits having lost the first three wickets with just 4 runs on the board. A target of 283 runs, which was what Australia had set India to win, was stiff one when Dhoni came in to bat. And considering the fact that three of the most competent and attacking batsmen were back in the pavilion, the task looked unenviable to a batsman who has been out of form with the bat for over more than a year. The two batsmen at the crease, Rohit Sharma and Dhoni, had rightly decided to rebuild the Indian inning, and they went about it quite well. Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni discussing strategy at Sydney last Saturday Source With Rohit Sharma, who is known to start slow and accelerate his scoring rate later in his inning, going steadily, Dhoni found no need to start swinging his bat, and rightly so. The result was that they put together a partnership of 137 runs in 171 balls which is a good scoring rate by any standard. That is a strike rate of 80.1 runs per hundred balls. India now needed another 142 runs off 17.4 overs at the scoring rate of 8.08 runs per over. That was when Dhoni was adjudged lbw to a decision by the umpire. He was declared out when he had scored 51 runs in 96 balls. It is unfair that the fans criticise his scoring rate at this stage of his inning. India had earlier lost their DRS when Ambati Rayadu had opted for it and failed in his bid. Dhoni was left with no recourse but to head for the pavilion. The television replays later showed that the ball which rapped Dhoni on the pads had pitched outside the off stump and that he should not have been out by if he had the option to review the decision. I firmly believe that Dhoni was well set at the moment and if he had played another ten overs, the situation would have been quite different and the target quite achievable. Despite Rohit Sharma’s valiant 133 runs, India lost the match to Australia which would have not been the case if one other batsman had given some Sharma some company after Dhoni was out. In cse Fans need a reminder of how good Dhoni is in finishing, here's a vedio Source Another factor in Dhoni’s favour is that he is the best stumper in the game and has been over the past decade and a half in India. The Indian team management has made it clear that Dhoni will be in the side for his contribution to team strategies. Not only that, his ability to remain calm in tight situations rubs off on his teammates in the field and helps the captain to marshal his team better. I have a feeling that Dhoni is not going anywhere before the World Cup 2019 and it should be so, no matter who is complaining.
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