Former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding has pointed out Team India’s need to find someone like MS Dhoni down the order to pull off big chases in the ODI format. India were put under pressure with a 375-run target in the first ODI in Sydney, on Friday, and even though Hardik Pandya’s 76-ball 90 helped India accelerate their chase in the middle overs, he failed to see India successfully chase down the gigantic totally.
Hence, Holding has rightly pointed out that a chase specialist is required in the ODI team for situations like in the 1st ODI against Australia. While India have a fantastic bunch of white-ball cricketers, there’s only one ‘master of chases’ but India now have to move on from MS Dhoni and find themselves a batsman who could play a similar role in 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.”
The Jamaican cricketer, however, admitted that this Indian batting side is a strong one and patches of good cricket was seen in their 66-run defeat on Friday. However, Holder once again stressed on Team India’s dire need to have someone with a similar character as Dhoni’s in big chases.
“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. 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,” Holding added.
“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.”
India and Australia have their second ODI scheduled for Sunday, November 29 to be played at the same venue as the 1st ODI- Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).