Rohit: Dhoni at four would be ideal for India

By Sports Desk January 12, 2019

Rohit Sharma believes MS Dhoni should bat at number four for India, differing with captain Virat Kohli's preference for Ambati Rayudu.

Opener Rohit scored 133 runs off 129 balls in the first ODI against Australia at the SCG on Saturday and produced a 137-run stand for the fourth wicket alongside Dhoni.

The duo helped lift the tourists after an abysmal start saw them reduced to 4-3, but the dismissal of Dhoni - who made his first ODI half-century since December 2017 - sapped their momentum and India fell to a 34-run loss.

Kohli expressed his contentment with having the "intelligent" Rayudu at the contentious position of four when West Indies toured India in October, but Rohit thinks a tweak might be needed ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

"Personally, I always feel that Dhoni batting at number four will be ideal for the team," said Rohit. "But we have got Ambati Rayudu who has done really well now at number four.

"It totally depends on what the captain and coach think about it. Personally, I would be happy if Dhoni bats at four.

"It is pretty simple with him and he does not complicate things. We spoke about building a partnership because it was crucial at that point.

"It was great to see him come and bat at number five. We lost three wickets, but he is keen to get those runs as well.

"Over the years, he has shown he is ready to bat anywhere for the team and score runs."

Rayudu wastefully used India's sole review when he was trapped leg before for a two-ball duck, meaning Dhoni was unable to challenge after he was given lbw to a Jason Behrendorff delivery that pitched well outside leg.

"It's always tricky, when to take it and when not. Rayudu thought the ball was drifting down leg and I thought the same. These things happen," said Rohit.

"You can't always be right. But it is important to use the DRS well and we've spoken a lot about it. It's such a split-second decision. We might have a chat in Adelaide but what's done is done."

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