5 Reasons why MS Dhoni should open for RPS
Dhoni hasn't hit the stripes yet and opening the batting could be the turn around he needs
Updated - Apr 15, 2017 3:12 am
In spite of having a star-studded lineup at their disposal, Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) could not perform to their optimum level and finished second from the bottom of the table last season.
Since the ‘one to forget’ 2016 season, the Pune-based franchise has undergone hefty changes in hope of finding glory this time around.
Going into the tenth edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), Dhoni’s form was always going to be the key to Pune’s hopes.
However, their former skipper is struggling for form as he has managed to collect only 33 runs from the four games they have played so far.
Coming low down the order, he hasn’t quite got the opportunity to express himself and this might well be an indication that MS Dhoni should now give himself more time at the crease.
Here are the 5 reasons why Dhoni should open the innings for RPS:
#1) Additional time to assess the conditions
MS Dhoni started off his career as a player who went out guns blazing from ball one destroying different bowling attacks on his own.
However, over the years with added responsibility as a captain his game has seen a drastic change.
He now likes to start off cautiously and gain momentum through ones and twos, taking the match till the very end.
Nevertheless, once he gets his eye in he can literally murder any bowling line up in world cricket.
Thus, if he decides to open it will give him more time to settle and pace his innings according to the conditions.
#2) Most experienced player of the team
With a total of 147 matches to his, credit in the ten-year history of IPL, Dhoni is a T20 veteran any team would like to have in their ranks.
He has led Chennai Super kings (CSK) to two consecutive IPL titles in 2011 and 2012 editions.
Pune have a formidable batting lineup but, none of them matches anywhere close to their former skipper in terms of experience.
Batting at Number 5 or 6 most of the times he hardly gets any chance to settle yet he has scored a whopping total of 3304 runs at an average of 38.41 and a strike rate of 137.72.
And therefore taking into account his performance in spite of batting lower down the order for a major part his career, it becomes important that a batsman of his calibre faces the maximum number of deliveries in an innings.
He can then also bring into play his experience and provide Pune’s side with the much-needed momentum at the top of the order.
#3) Freedom to play his natural game
With the burden of captaincy taken away from his shoulders, MS Dhoni can now simply walk out on the field and enjoy his batting.
Also, ever since he has decided to hand over the reins to Virat Kohli in limited overs cricket, he seems to have flourished as a batsman as he then went on to score his first one-day international century (ODI) in over four years and his maiden T20 international fifty.
Therefore, if he opens the innings it will allow him to play with the new found freedom that was missing towards the later part of his career.
#4) Calm and Composure
Over the years, Dhoni has impressed one and all not only with his batting and leadership skills but also with his ability to remain calm and composed in crunch situations.
This particular quality of his influences the whole team to resist caving in.
He is also known to back his players at all times which helps them gain the much-needed self-belief to perform at their best.
His composure at the top of the innings will also decrease the pressure on the middle order to a great extent.
#5) Less likely to face spin at the start
MS Dhoni has been a great player of spin bowling over the years. However, so far in the tenth edition of the league he has been dismissed thrice by the spinners. Swapnil Singh got him caught and bowled in their second match followed by Amit Mishra in the game against the Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Ravindra Jadeja got the better of him as Pune faced the franchise from Gujarat.
This hints towards the fact that he is somehow facing it difficult to tackle the spinners.
Usually, there will be fast bowlers bowling with the new ball and though Dhoni’s batting technique is unorthodox he shouldn’t be facing much trouble against the pace and bounce.
At times, teams might start with the spin however, the new ball won’t turn much which would allow Dhoni to get back his form.