Time for Dhoni to Give Youngsters a Chance in T20s: VVS Laxman
New Delhi: Skipper Virat Kohli might stand behind his senior-most teammate MS Dhoni, but former cricketers like VVS Laxman feel that it is time for the former skipper to make way for youngsters, at least in the shortest form of the game. With India losing the second T20I against New Zealand in Rajkot, Laxman feels that the former finisher now requires more time to get going and that can put the team in a spot of bother in the shortest format of the game.
“In T20s, MS Dhoni’s role is at No 4. He requires more time to get his eye in and then do the job. But today [Saturday] was a classical example because when Virat Kohli was batting, Dhoni had to give strike to Kohli. Kohli’s strike rate was 160, MS Dhoni’s strike rate was 80. That’s not good enough when India were chasing a mammoth total,” Laxman said in a post-match show.
Dhoni joined skipper Kohli in the middle, after India were down to 67/4 in 9.1 overs, in their chase of 197 runs. But as Kohli batted well at one end and kept hitting timely boundaries to keep the hosts in the match, Dhoni found it difficult early on in his innings to get going and that pushed the required rate up for the hosts.
Till the 15th over of the Indian innings, Dhoni’s scoring rate was less than 100 (16 off 18 balls) and that just left too much for India to do in the last few overs of the game and home side ended up to be on the losing side.
But speaking at the end of the game, Kohli backed his teammate and said: “Eventually we weren’t good enough with the bat. When you’re chasing 200, all the batsmen need to chip in, or one batsman has to keep going at a 200 strike-rate. Tried to do my best. M.S. (Dhoni) was very good at the end. But we were left with a very difficult task.”
The series is locked at 1-1 after India won the first match at the Ferozeshah Kotla in the Capital and the decider will now be played in Thiruvananthapuram on November 7.