Dhoni's role will be massive: Shastri

Dhoni's role will be massive: Shastri

Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (AFP File Photo)

He might be in the final leg of his glorious career and his form, at least at the international stage, has witnessed a drastic dip. But not many carry the imposing aura Mahendra Singh Dhoni does in world events.

Skipper Virat Kohli, by his own admission, has grown as a skipper thanks to Dhoni’s inputs. At the World Cup in England, as they look to clinch their third crown, India would want Dhoni – a winner of three ICC trophies as skipper – to bring in his vast experience to good effect. Head coach Ravi Shastri, in the pre-departure press conference, was quick to say that Dhoni’s role will be big in India’s campaign.

“His role will be massive like it’s always been. You don’t need to tell that. His communication with Virat has been fantastic. As a wicketkeeper, he has shown he has grown better in this format of the game. It’s not just the catches but it’s the run-outs and stumpings and they happen in such crucial points that they change the course of the game. It was great to see the way he was moving, especially when he was batting, this IPL,” Shastri said.

One of the talking points ahead of the quadrennial event is the high-scoring nature of wickets in England. The recently concluded five-match series between England and Pakistan witnessed totals go past the 300-run mark in all the games. Shastri said the Indian bowling attack is capable of defending huge scores.

“In the attack, there are no new bowlers. This is an experienced group. These guys have bowled as a unit together. We have accomplished what we set out in Test match cricket and it is going to be the same here. Each one will complement each other and keep the pressure right through the 50 overs,” Shastri said.

The 56-year-old stressed that India’s batting will have to be flexible. “Our mantra will be to be flexible according to the condition. Because it is one country in the world where the pitches could be flat but if the overcast conditions set in, we have to be up for it. Any other country, this wouldn’t have mattered but in England it does. In London you might not face that issue but if you go up north, it does get overcast and you can see things happening. You have to be ready for that,” he explained.

DH News Service