India’s former captain MS Dhoni will be rested for the fourth and fifth One Day Internationals, said India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar at a press conference on Friday after the hosts lost the third ODI against Australia in Ranchi.
The wicketkeeper-batsman will be rested from the remaining two ODIs as India continues to experiment with their playing XI ahead of ICC World Cup 2019 scheduled to take place in May. Dhoni will be replaced by Rishabh Pant in the rest of the series.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 8 March 2019
“We will have some changes in the last two games. Mahi will not be playing in the last two games. He will be taking rest,” said Bangar at the post-match conference after India went down by 32 runs in the third ODI in Ranchi. Australia kept the five-match series alive with the men in blue now leading by 2-1.
“Shami got hurt in his leg so we will need to check whether he can be fit for day after (the Mohali game). If he does not get fit then Bhuvneshwar Kumar could come in,” he added.
Dhawan has failed in 14 out of his 16 innings but Bangar feels that more than anything else, it’s his shot selection that has let him down. “In the previous game, he (Dhawan) was batting really well till he erred in shot selection. But from our point of view, he has been an important player,” Bangar said. “If we know that he gets going, he can give us that solidity as it is vital to have that right-left combination going. He is a hugely valuable player for us and he is expected to come good very soon,” the former India all-rounder added.
India skipper Virat Kohli also spoke about changes in the remaining matches, suggesting that there would be ‘few new faces’. Kohli said after the Ranchi ODI, “We will have a few changes in the next couple of games. We have to figure out what those changes are. But the idea is to go out there and win matches and take a lot of pride in winning games for the country.”
“That mindset will not change. We will have a few new faces and they will have to make the most of their chances because there is a World Cup coming and everyone wants to be on that flight,” added Kohli. “The guys are excited and looking forward to it. A little hiccup in the middle but we will regroup and come back stronger.”
Virat Kohli scored his 41st ODI century on Friday but his heroics went in vain as he did not get support from his teammates.