India vs New Zealand: MS Dhoni admits batting lower hampered his game

Mohali: India captain MS Dhoni on Sunday made it clear that a need to bat at No 4 is more out of compulsion
as his game was getting affected lower down the order.

Dhoni (C) promoted himself up the order and had a magnificent partnership with Virat Kohli. AFP

Dhoni (C) promoted himself up the order and had a magnificent partnership with Virat Kohli. AFP

"I am happy to score runs. I wanted to do this (play an innings like that) for a long time. I could express myself
today. It doesn't happen at number five or six. Batting lower is hampering my batting to a certain extent," said Dhoni after scoring a crucial 80-run knock in the third ODI.

It was his first half century in 11 innings. Dhoni promoted himself ahead of Manish Pandey after batting at five in the earlier games. The move paid off as he paced his innings well and shared a match winning 151 run stand with Virat Kohli.

The skipper explained why he made the call of batting higher up the order.

"We (in the team management) discussed this. I wasn't fluently rotating the strike (batting at five or six). When you batting down, the approach is more result-oriented and you are looking for the big strokes. I feel that has hampered my batting to a certain extent. It is good that I got runs,"

Dhoni was very candid in his admission.

"At the same time, it (his batting at four) gives a chance to other youngsters to bat lower down the order. Batting higher, I can set the pace of the innings and not worry about hitting the big shots (from the start)," he explained.

Dhoni was candid enough to admit that batting at four was more of his need than the team’s.

"One has to see that I am not playing Tests anymore. Lower down, I play according to what the situation demands.
Batting at number four was an ideal position to express myself. It is more of my need than the team's. There are other guys who can play at four too but we need to think about grooming batsmen to bat five, six and seven."

"With the top order being in brilliant form, the likes of Virat, Rohit (Sharma), Shikhar (Dhawan), I was not getting to bat for a lot of overs. I have not got enough chances to bat in the last one and a half years. Since there are few ODIs this season, I only get to play one-dayers in domestic cricket," he said.

Updated Date: Oct 24, 2016 09:51 AM

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