Dhoni’s painfully slow approach against the Afghanistan yielded 28 off 52 balls and he was roundly criticised. Even the normally restrained Sachin Tendulkar questioned the approach.
“There was no positive intent,” the usually reticent Tendulkar’s observed on a TV channel.
The Indian team management knows that only too well but with four group matches left, the only option they have right now is to alter Dhoni’s batting position, possibly giving a few more deliveries to Jadhav, who can be innovative in his shot selection.
Hardik Pandya is being used as a floater but the Afghanistan match showed that if he doesn’t get support from the other end, there is too much pressure on him to hit every delivery for a six.
Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri till now have not been too keen to use Rishabh Pant’s firepower. Pant can come in only if the team management considers the idea of Vijay Shankar being disposable.
The West Indies is a team loaded with fast bowlers so it could be a bit easier for Dhoni to rotate strike as he hasn’t been comfortable against the slow bowlers.
There have been arguments and counter-arguments about Dhoni’s batting approach in the IPL compared to his style when playing 50-over cricket for India.
Dhoni, during Chennai Super Kings various chases, would invariably target one of the inexperienced Indian domestic bowlers while playing safe cricket against the bigger international names.
Against a Kagiso Rabada or a Jofra Archer, he didn’t take any risks before hitting the others in successful run-chases. A strategy needs to be worked around Dhoni’s skill sets here as well to place him at a position on which he can bat freely.
With his inputs and electric glove work behind the stumps an absolute necessity, this will require some tactical brainstorming by the captain and the coach.
The West Indies, on the other hand, will look to finish on a high after being knocked out despite a great start against Pakistan. Andre Russell being ruled out due to a hamstring injury has been another big blow.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant.
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Ambris, Evin Lewis, Shannon Gabriel, Darren Bravo, Fabian Allen.
Match starts at 3pm (IST).
(With PTI inputs)
Article source: https://sports.ndtv.com/world-cup-2019/west-indies-vs-india-preview-unbeaten-india-face-edgy-west-indies-in-run-up-to-semi-finals-2059562