Virat Kohli in a press conference in London said that MS Dhoni was too burdened in the past few years because of the responsibility of the various roles he played in the team. MSD has been striking the ball relatively better lately and Kohli credits that to his ability to play freely now.
Dhoni averages 55 and bats at a strike rate of 100.61 in the ODIs during 2017, which have substantially improved since he gave up his role as captain of the Indian side. Last year, he admitted to having problems in rotating the strike as was indicated by an average of 27.80. Virat Kohli, who is now set to captain an ICC event for the first time, addressed a press conference after landing in London during which he said MS Dhoni wasn’t able to express himself because of the lack of batsmen lower down the order who could finish the game.
“The one thing we needed to strengthen was our lower middle-order contribution. I felt too much burden was coming on MS Dhoni in the past couple of years. He wasn’t able to express himself purely because of the fact that there are not enough guys showing composure to finish off the game with him,” Kohli said, as reported by Indian Express.
After mentioning the lower-middle order woes, Kohli was quick to credit Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya for stepping up in their roles as finishers and strengthening the lower middle-order while Dhoni switched the role higher up alongside Yuvraj Singh, where he has performed well.
“Having had Jadhav and Hardik do so well in that particular phase of the innings has really strengthened our squad. Hardik coming in provides that beautiful balance to us,” he explained.
The 28-year-old also said that they have worked on the aspect of balance in the squad, with the in-form all-rounders and bowlers as well as an improvised in-depth batting, including reserve players. He hinted that they are stepping into the tournament with confidence and if the execution is done right, they could well be performing according to their expectations.
“I think we are pretty balanced going forward. We are a balanced side. Bowlers are bowling well. The batsmen are playing well, we got all-rounders, we have got really good fast bowlers. We are in pretty good head space going into this tournament. It’s about execution now. You might have the best side in the world but if you do not execute there is no point having that skill. In a tournament like this it all boils down to how you execute on the day,” he concluded.
India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.