Batting at No. 4 more of my need than team’s, says Dhoni

MOHALI: MS Dhoni+ came out to bat at No. 4, took the opposition on and scored a crucial 80 in a winning cause here on Sunday. But it takes courage for...

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MOHALI: MS Dhoni+ came out to bat at No. 4, took the opposition on and scored a crucial 80 in a winning cause here on Sunday. But it takes courage for a captain to say that “batting at No. 4 was more of my need than the team’s.” Dhoni said that in as many words.

“It was important for me to express myself, something I wanted to do for a long time. If you are batting at No. 5 and 6, especially when your top order is batting so well, you don’t get a chance to bat how you want to bat. If it keeps on happening for a long time, tendency is you can’t fluently rotate strike and that was what was happening with my batting,” Dhoni said after India’s seven-wicket win over New Zealand.

Dhoni accepted that batting at No. 6 and 7 over a long period of time “hampered” his batting and it was his conscious decision to come in at two-drop.

“When you know you have just one batsman after you, you actually weigh in a lot of things. I have always said process is more important but at that slot it becomes result-oriented. That has actually hampered my batting to a lot of extent. It’s not easy to come out of that. I could have taken a few more innings (at No. 4) but it’s good that I have got runs (sooner),” the skipper said.

India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni plays a shot during the third one day international (ODI) match between Indian and New Zealand at The Punjab Cricket Stadium Association Stadium in Mohali on October 23, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MONEY SHARMA / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT

 “Personally also it is good for me to go out there and set the pace of the game. I can play shots over the fielders and that was something needed in my batting,” he said. “We were having conversation among the team management about what we want to do and one was for me to play free cricket.”
The skipper also stressed upon the importance of rotating the strike. “It’s more often than not rotating the strike that is important. You want to play a lot of deliveries and the only chance is go up the order. It’s not only for my cricket, because if I am successful at No. 4, it gives the team a bit of liberty to score at a decent pace.

“It also gives me the chance to bat with Virat. We run well between the wickets, we can take on even the best of fielders. Overall, I think this batting slot is more of my need than the team’s.”

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