Former Windies pacer Michael Holding while reviewing India’s first ODI loss to Australia said that even though they have a star-studded batting lineup, India is missing former captain, MS Dhoni, in run-chases.
Kohli led side went down to Aaron Finch-led Australia in the ODI series opener on Friday in Sydney. After losing the toss, India was offered to bowl first. Bowling first, Virat Kohli & Co. missed few part-timers in their bowling line-up as the majority of their frontline bowlers had an off-day, with sloppy fielding effort adding to their woes.
While speaking on the show ‘Holding Nothing Back’, the 66-year-old said that India is still missing someone of MS Dhoni’s character in the line-up.
“It was always going to be difficult for India to chase that down. One thing India will struggle with is the loss of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. MS Dhoni comes into this Indian batting order halfway down and he usually takes control while chasing. India has chased so well in the past with MS Dhoni in the team.”
India Have a Fantastic Batting Lineup, But MS Dhoni Was a Special Man: Michael Holding
Michael Holding further opined that the Indian team in the presence of MS Dhoni was far more assured in run-chases due to the 39-year-old’s ability and ‘strength of character’.
“They’ve never been afraid to win the toss and insert the opposition because they know what MS Dhoni is capable of. This batting lineup that they’ve got is still very talented – we saw some talented players and fantastic strokeplay. But they still need a player like Dhoni. Not just his skills but his strength of character.”
The 66-year-old further added that the former Indian captain not only ensured that he kept his team in the game throughout run-chases but also helped his batting partner constantly.
“We never see MS Dhoni panicking at any stage while India is chasing. He usually paces that chase so well because he knows his ability and he knows how to go about the chase. Whoever is batting with him, he is always talking with them and helping them. Fantastic batting lineup, but MS Dhoni was a special man in the run-chase,” pointed out the former speedster-turned-commentator.
MS Dhoni announced his international retirement on August 15 earlier this year. He was a vital cog in India becoming a strong outfit while chasing in limited-overs. His calmness and power-hitting even in the high situations changed the results of many games and led India to memorable run-chases, for instance in the 2011 World Cup final, Adelaide ODI versus Australia in 2011-12, Celkon Cup tri-series final versus Sri Lanka in 2013 and in the Mohali tie versus Australia in the 2016 T20 World Cup.
MS Dhoni will be seen in action next in the 2021 Indian Premier League.