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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 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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