Former West Indies pacer Michael Holding pointed out that the Men In Blue severely lacked MS Dhoni’s presence during their loss against Australia in the first ODI. Holding noted that despite boasting a formidable batting line-up on paper, the team missed out on the wicket-keeper batsman’s skill and character.
India, who have asserted their status as one of the best chasing sides in recent times, were set a target of 375 by the Aussies. While a flamboyant start and vital knocks by Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya, the team were never truly in the chase as they slumped to a 66-run defeat.
One of the major reasons behind the batting unit’s plight was the performance of the middle order. Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul could only muster 35 runs between them in Sydney.
During the latest episode of his YouTube chat show ‘Holding Nothing Back’, the 66-year-old claimed that the target was always going to be too much for India. He further added that, apart from Dhoni’s skill, the team missed out on his sheer strength of character.
“India has some good players but one thing I know for sure is that Kohli’s team will struggle with the loss of MS Dhoni. As we know when Dhoni used to come to bat midway, he used to take control of the chase.
India have chased so well in the past with Dhoni in the team, and they have never been afraid to win the toss and insert the opposition because they know what Dhoni is capable of,”
MS Dhoni has rescued India out of several volatile situations and has almost been a key part in India’s historic run chases. Holding attributed MS Dhoni’s calmness and the ability to pace the innings.
“We never see MS Dhoni panicking at any stage while India are 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 with the bat in the run-chase,” Holding concluded
Team India head into the same venue in a bid to rescue the series with several eyes set on the balance of the team. The side missed out on a sixth bowler and as a result, were punished heavily by the Australian batting line-up.
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