MS Dhoni’s diminishing strike rate and inability to rotate strike in the middle overs has become a cause of concern but Indian team bowling coach Bharath Arun revealed that head coach Ravi Shastri has spoken to the wicketkeeper on how to make improvements.
Against Afghanistan, Dhoni struggled to score (28 off 52 balls) while skipper Virat Kohli hit a fluent 67 of 63 deliveries. But, Arun said Dhoni should not be compared with Kohli on strike rate.
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“I think Virat Kohli is probably the number one batsman across all formats. So I think to compare anybody to the way he plays is not right,” Arun said at the media interaction ahead of the West Indies game on Thursday.
Asked if Dhoni has been told about his slow batting by the team management, Arun gave a somewhat roundabout reply.
“There is a constant dialogue between all the batsmen, the support staff, the batting coach, the head coach — Ravi Shastri has a constant dialogue with all the coaches. I can’t really get into the brass tacks of what we discuss, but yes if I have to answer your question, there is a constant dialogue for us to improve,” the former India medium pacer said.
“I think according to the situation and the condition of the wicket, we were able to successfully defend the total that we put up. And had we probably lost a wicket at that stage (when Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav were batting), then things would have turned out differently. So I don’t think it’s too much of a concern for us right now,” Arun said.
“If you look at our first three games, I think we put up some really big scores. And Afghanistan match, the wicket was a little sticky; it was tricky to bat under those circumstances. But I think it’s a question of adapting, understanding these conditions and adapting to that,” he reasoned.
Looking at India’s next challenge versus the Windies, he said, “They do have their strengths. And also it’s a big challenge for the bowlers too — especially when they come after you. But whenever batsmen come after you, if you’re willing to look at it deeply, there is a chance in it for the bowlers, and I think that’s what our bowlers would be looking to do.”
(With PTI inputs)