Former West Indies cricketer, Michael Holding has highlighted Team India’s need to find someone like MS Dhoni down the order to pull off big chases in the ODI format. On Friday, India was put under pressure by a whopping 375-run target in first India vs Australia ODI in Sydney.
No. 6 Hardik Pandya put up 90 runs from 76 balls on the scoreboard. However, he failed to see Team India chase down the gigantic tally. Hence, Holding has rightly pointed out the need to have a chase specialist in situations like in the first India vs Australia ODI. India has many fantastic white-ball cricketers but had only one ‘master of chases’. But the team now has to move on from former captain MS Dhoni and find a batsman who could play a similar role in the ODIs.
“374 is a lot of runs. it was always going to be difficult. They have some good players but one thing I know will struggle with is the loss of MS Dhoni. As we know, MS Dhoni came into this batting order mid-way and took control of the chasing,” Holding said on his YouTube channel. “India have chased so well in the past because of MS Dhoni’s presence. They have never been afraid to win the toss and chase because they know what Dhoni is capable of. They know the strength of their batting line-up,” he added.
“MS Dhoni was a special man when they were chasing”
Michael Holding however added that the Indian batting line-up was still strong. And despite a 66-run defeat, patches of good cricket were seen during the match on Friday.
“This batting line-up is still talented. We saw some from fantastic strokeplay. We saw Hardik Pandya, he batted beautifully and got a lot of runs at a fantastic rate,” he said before adding that India still needs a player like Dhoni. “But India still needs a player like Dhoni. Not necessarily the skills of Dhoni but the strength of character of Dhoni. You hardly see Dhoni panicking at any stage of India’s chase. He usually paces the chase so well because he knows his ability,” he said.
“Whoever is batting with him, he was talking to him and nurturing him during the chase. Without Dhoni, I think they will have to try to find someone who can do a similar job. Fantastic batting line-up, as I said, but MS Dhoni was a special man when they were chasing,” Holding added.
The second India vs Australia ODI is scheduled on Sunday at the same venue i.e. Sydney Cricket Ground.