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India vs Sri Lanka: MS Dhoni Batting at No. 4 is Ideal for Team India, Says Rohit Sharma

India captain Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said the team management's decision to promote veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the no.4 position in the batting order paid off as he is the "ideal" man for that slot.

PTI |December 21, 2017, 10:55 AM IST
India vs Sri Lanka: MS Dhoni Batting at No. 4 is Ideal for Team India, Says Rohit Sharma

Cuttack: India captain Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said the team management's decision to promote veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the no.4 position in the batting order paid off as he is the "ideal" man for that slot.

India promoted Dhoni up the order and the former skipper responded the team management's decision by making an unbeaten 39 off just 22 balls.

"MSD (Dhoni), he's just class. No. 4 really paid off. He's played so many games for us, won so many games for us and moving forward, we feel making him bat at No. 4 is ideal," Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"For a long period of time, MS has been finishing games off, but we want him to bat freely now, without that pressure. We were not sure what the ideal score would be, with dew and the wicket playing weirdly. So I thought 180 was a great effort."

Rohit also complimented KL Rahul, who struck a classy 61 at the top and Manish Pandey (32 not out) for giving Dhoni company in the middle that powered India to 180 for three, a score which they defended by 93 runs.

"It was a great move, for KL (Rahul) to start at the top. He was not part of the ODI squad, but he came here and showed he belonged. He batted magnificently. And great finish to the innings by MS (Dhoni) and Pandey. Pandey hasn't had much game time in the middle, so to come out and bat like that is good," he said.

Rohit also praised his bowlers, especially Yuzvendra Chahal for his man-of-the-match winning 4/23 effort. "Chahal and Kuldeep (Yadav) have always been our wicket-taking options in the middle. They understand what the team expects and they come out and deliver. No words can describe how good they have been for us," he said.

"The fast bowlers as well, Jaydev (Unadkat) playing his first game after a long time, taking an early wicket. (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Hardik) Pandya keeping things tight. Conditions weren't easy and they did very very well," Rohit added.

Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera said batsmen let the team down in their pursuit of the big score.

"In these conditions, we wanted to bowl first, but India batted really well. And we have to give their bowlers credit, two spinners bowling really well in dewy conditions," he said.

"We could have had a shot at 160-170 here. But I think, 180, in these conditions, we could have chased if we had got a good start. But our batting line-up didn't click. Really disappointed."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
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