Can count on Rahul at number three: Dhoni

 Come Friday, the Karnataka stalwart will take the slot again which he had made his own in the not so distant past.

“Rahul Dravid is an ideal batsman at No 3,” declared skipper MS Dhoni at a media briefing on Thursday when asked who would come in at the fall of first wicket. “If you look at the conditions in which we would be batting -- under lights – Rahul is one batsman who has done well. If the ball is moving or seaming, he is one batsman you can count on.”

Dhoni, however, didn’t rule out Dravid coming down the order if the situation demanded so. “Sometimes there will be a situation where there is rain and the number of overs is reduced and if we need to score runs quickly, then we may get others in his place. In the past one year, we have not stuck to a regular batting order and everyone has been told that he should be ready to bat in any position. But as I said, unless the situation or condition demands, Rahul will bat at number three more often than not,” he said.

Quizzed about India’s chance to become the number one one-day side, Dhoni said the ranking was the last thing on his mind. “It is only an incentive. But the first priority is to win matches and the series. If we do well and if we can control what we can, the rankings will take care of themselves. We are just taking it as the first tournament of the season,” he pointed out.

Dhoni was reminded of India’s poor record in tournaments involving more than two teams. “In bilateral series, you have two teams and as the series progresses, you know about the opposition and it helps. But in a tournament like this, you have only one game and you have to play well from the very start. You don’t have the time to get adjusted. The batsmen and the bowlers have become smarter over the years. On a particular day, you have to be good.”

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