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Venkatesh Prasad asks MS Dhoni to step up for the betterment of the team

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Venkatesh Prasad asks MS Dhoni to step up for the betterment of the team

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SportsCafe Desk


Despite setting the Asia Cup on fire with his smart glove-work and strategic interventions, Venkatesh Prasad has stated that MS Dhoni needs to step up more as a batsman. During the Asia Cup, the wicketkeeper-batsman registered scores of 0, 33, 8 and 36 in the four innings he played in.

During the Asia Cup Dhoni did shine behind the stumps with his regular quick and smart glovework and helping out stand-in captain Rohit Sharma in making the strategic decisions. However, the former Indian Captain’s only important contribution in the competition with the bat came against Bangladesh in the Final, when he scored 36 off 67 deliveries before losing his wicket to Mustafizur Rahman. While praising the Indian team for their Asia Cup title triumph, Prasad also pointed out the need for Dhoni to come good with the bat as he is known for. 

In his column for the Times of India, Prasad wrote, "At the end of the two-week cricket extravaganza in the UAE, Rohit Sharma and Co. emerged deserving Asia Cup champions. With the focus on next year's World Cup, the victory is a big statement of intent by the Indian side. Having said that, it was also a reality check for the middle-order, which still looks fluid. MS Dhoni will need to step up as a batman. Although Rishabh Pant is waiting in the wings, Dhoni's wicketkeeping skills remain sharp and a cut above the rest."

Amidst the horror show by the batsmen, Indian pacers still performed above expectations on the placid Dubai pitches. While Jasprit Bumrah dished out the yorkers, as was his wont, Bhuvneshwar Kumar made sure that he was a perfect ally to the Gujarat pacer. Prasad lauded the duo and commended their efforts with the ball on the flat pitches in the Asia Cup.

"While Rohit and the tournament's top run-getter Shikhar Dhawan's form augurs well for the team, for me, the most reassuring aspect of India's campaign were pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. The fast bowlers' efforts on flat tracks was laudable, as was Rohit's captaincy. The opener led from the front, scoring 317 runs with a century and two half-centuries and made some shrewd decisions in bowling changes and field settings," Prasad added.

Prasad said the real winners of Asia Cup was the Asian Cricket and did not hold back while appreciating the performances of Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the tournament.

"While the champions are always one, there were many winners in the tournament. I believe the landscape of Asian cricket has changed considerably with this tournament. Lower-ranked teams have now challenged the powerhouses. In fact, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were ousted by less-fancied teams. It is heartening to see the spirit and determination with which Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Bangladesh played throughout the event.

"Although Bangladesh lost the final, their campaign has been praiseworthy. They fought hard and took the challenge to the opposition camp. There was hunger backed by spirit. Even after losing two of their key men - Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan - to injuries, they made good use of the resources. Coming to the Afghans, their campaign was promising but the batsmen should put in more work to be competitive in all conditions," Prasad concluded.

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