India need a player like Dhoni, not just his skills but his strength of character: Holding

Tags: India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Michael Anthony Holding

Published on: Nov 29, 2020

Virat Kohli-led Team India were battered in the first ODI of three-match series against Australia at Sydney. Batting first, the Aussies posted an imposing 374 on the board with tons from skipper Aaron Finch and Steve Smith. India’s much-famed bowling line-up came a cropper with Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Navdeep Saini going for plenty, and only Mohammed Shami making an impact with his three wickets.

Then, when it was India’s turn to bat, their top and middle-order crumbled under pressure. Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul all played poor shots to put India in deep trouble. Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan fought valiantly in a fifth-wicket stand of 128. But, India were left with a mountain to climb. And, after both fell to the guile of Adam Zampa, it was game over for India.

According to West Indian legend Michael Holding India are definitely missing someone like an MS Dhoni, who was one of the greatest chasers in the game. Dhoni was the man of the series during India’s ODI series win Down Under in 2018-19. However, his form tapered off soon after. Dhoni retired from international cricket earlier this year.

“It was always going to be difficult for India to chase that down. One thing India will struggle with is the loss of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. MS Dhoni comes in to this Indian batting order halfway down and he usually takes control while chasing. India have chased so well in the past with MS Dhoni in the team,” Holding said in his Youtube chat show ‘Holding Nothing Back’.

“They’ve never been afraid to win the toss and insert the opposition because they know what MS Dhoni is capable of. This batting lineup that they’ve got is still very talented - we saw some talented players and fantastic strokeplay. But they still need a player like Dhoni. Not just his skills but his strength of character,” Holding added.

“We never see MS Dhoni panicking at any stage while India are chasing. He usually paces that chase so well because he knows his ability and he knows how to go about the chase. Whoever is batting with him, he is always talking with them and helping them. Fantastic batting lineup, but MS Dhoni was a special man in the run-chase,” he said.

India face Australia in the do-or-die 2nd ODI at Sydney on Sunday.

-By A Cricket Correspondent

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