Cricket

Sourav Ganguly feels West Indies ODIs will be crucial for MS Dhoni's leading up to 2019 World Cup

  • Press Trust of India
  • October 21st, 2018
  • 19:14:08 IST

Guwahati: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Sunday backed struggling Mahendra Singh Dhoni to do well in the World Cup and said the ongoing series against West Indies would be crucial for the veteran stumper looking forward to next year's showpiece event.

A colossus in ODI cricket, of late Dhoni is struggling with his batting and his scores have dwindled in the last few years.

MS Dhoni has been placed in Grade A, a level below Grade A+. AFP

File image of MS Dhoni. AFP

Starting with the five-match ODI series against West Indies here, India have 18-odd matches left for the World Cup and the think-tank has brought in dashing Delhi wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant in the mix to spice up the scenario.

"I don't know what combination they are thinking at. But I'm sure he (Dhoni) will do well in the World Cup. It's (against West Indies) big series for him," Ganguly told PTI at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium while watching the ODI with Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi.

In the Asia Cup, Dhoni batted four times, scoring 77 runs with an average of 19.25 and a strike rate of 62.09.

Overall in 2018, he has batted 10 times in 15 matches, for an average of 28.12 and a strike rate of 67.36.

Dhoni has an unimpressive record in the seaming conditions of England where he is yet to score a century from 20 ODIs, and averages 38.06, a sharp drop from his career average of 50.61.

"His overall record is very good," Ganguly pointed out.

"It all depends how the players perform going ahead to the World Cup. It's about scoring runs. That's why Pant has been given a chance," he added.

All 10 teams will play each other in a round-robin format, with the top four qualifying for the semi-finals in the next year's World Cup beginning with England versus South Africa at the Oval on May 30.

"India are a good ODI side. This World Cup will be worth watching. All teams play all and the best four go. It will be a competitive one," Ganguly said.

Hosting its first ODI, the Assam Cricket Association invited Ganguly as the guest of honour and was felicitated with traditional Assamese gamcha (towel) and xorai, an offering pot with a stand at the bottom, a decorative symbol of Assam used for offering tamul pan (betel nut and leaves).

Updated Date: October 21, 2018 19:14:08 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

West Indies vs South Africa: Dean Elgar leads from front as Proteas recover to 218/5 on Day 1 of second Test
First Cricket News

West Indies vs South Africa: Dean Elgar leads from front as Proteas recover to 218/5 on Day 1 of second Test

Dean Elgar's invaluable 77 lifted South Africa from the depths 37 for three to the comparative comfort of 218 for five.

Highlights, West Indies vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 2 at St Lucia: Hosts trail by 143 runs
First Cricket News

Highlights, West Indies vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 2 at St Lucia: Hosts trail by 143 runs

Check out the LIVE scorecard of first Test between West Indies and South Africa at St Lucia.

West Indies vs South Africa: Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel recalled to hosts' squad after first Test defeat
First Cricket News

West Indies vs South Africa: Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel recalled to hosts' squad after first Test defeat

Neither featured in the opener in St Lucia which South Africa won by an innings and 63 runs just before lunch on the third day of the first Test.