India opening batsman Rohit Sharma has suggested former India captain MS Dhoni should be promoted from No. 5 to No. 4 after his half-century in the first ODI against Australia.
“Personally always feel that Dhoni batting at No. 4 will be ideal for the team but we have got Rayudu who has done really well now at No. 4,” said Rohit. “It totally depends on what the captain and coach think about it. Personally, I would be happy if Dhoni bats at four.”
Rohit and Dhoni added 137 for the fourth wicket to help India recover from 4-3, but while Dhoni’s innings helped India stay in the contest – they eventually lost by 34 runs – it will do little to put to bed the questions over his place in the side. His strike-rate of 53 was well below the required rate, and he struck just four boundaries in his 96-ball knock, but Rohit defended the slow nature of the innings.
“If you look at his overall batting strike rate its 85-90, around 90,” Rohit said. “But when he came out to bat today we had already lost three wickets and the guys were bowling pretty well at that point. So we had to respect that spell and we wanted to get partnerships.
“It’s pretty simple with him, doesn’t complicate things, as he came on to bat we spoke about building a partnership because it was crucial at that point and it was great to see him come and bat at No. 5.
“We lost three early wickets but he is keen to go out there and bat and get those runs as well. So it’s a good sign for us that he showed he can come out and bat any time the team wants him to bat. And with him, he tries to keep things very simple and I am pretty similar to that.”
The second ODI takes place at Adelaide on Tuesday, January 15.