MS Dhoni : Rohit Sharma is one of the best openers in limited-overs cricket

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MS Dhoni : Rohit Sharma is one of the best openers in limited-overs cricket

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SportsCafe Desk


MS Dhoni has opened up about giving captaincy responsibilities to Rohit Sharma during his tenure as Indian captain and called him as one of the best openers in limited-overs cricket. The former Indian skipper has also stressed the importance of video analysis to analyse techniques of the batsmen.

Rohit Shama was asked to open for Team India in early 2013 against England during the home series, scoring 80 odd runs and followed that up with a steady show in the Champions Trophy. That proved to be a masterstroke of a decision as Sharma became pretty successful in limited-overs cricket for India. Post Dhoni's retirement, the Mumbai batsman has also admitted that Dhoni’s reading of a player’s ability is peerless.

Ahead of the ODI series against Sri Lanka, former skipper went to National Cricket Academy for fitness tests where he talked about one of the masterstroke moves he took during his captaincy tenure.  

“We have to see what others are not seeing. Rohit Sharma is one of the best examples. He accepted that challenge of becoming an opener. In limited-overs, he is one of the best openers who is playing right now. You have to at times think out of the box. We were like the amount of talent this guy has, I have to make him play. For that, if I have to make him an opener, I will do it,” Dhoni said.

“Whether he is up to the mark, only his performance will judge that. You can only do that if your other 5-6 batsmen are performing. If you keep losing games, you can’t give games to individuals. If you lose 3-4 games, you have to make a few changes. If you keep playing the same XI then others who are your bench strength won’t get a reality check of what they have on offer. It is slightly complex but what’s easiest and what always works during a series is to give the individual as much confidence as possible,” he added.

Dhoni captained India for 60 of the 90 Test matches he had played in. He led India to the top of the Test rankings and is the only captain in the world who has won all the three ICC titles. Being a smart cricketer, Dhoni has always accepted the new changes in the game.

“I felt what helped he was playing against good players and playing a lot of matches and having the hunger to score runs irrespective of what level you are playing. Technique is important, right now there are many things that can assist you. Videos I always felt was the best example.When you are batting, you coach tells you your head is falling. The moment you see the video, you are the first one to tell the coach your head is falling. So visual reference is always of very good help,” he said.

“In the Indian setup, there are few things that we need to be careful about. We don’t like to show out weakness. Even when we know there is a problem, we don’t admit it. If you don’t admit it, you cannot improve. Admission of shortcoming is very important. You need to have the courage to overcome that. It boils down to your mindset.”

Many teams have applied aggressive approach and started sledging to put the opposition down but on the other hand, Dhoni makes his name through cool and calm behavior that helped him earn the moniker "captain cool".

“Keeping it simple really helps. For some teams sledging is very important, for some hitting the right topic is important. You don’t have to abuse someone to turn the screw. Hitting the right topic can be subtle,” he said.

You can watch the video here:

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