Dhoni bets on Rahane as opener

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:17 pm IST

Published - October 07, 2014 11:24 pm IST - KOCHI:

With an eye on the World Cup, M.S. Dhoni is of the view that Ajinkya Rahane is well-suited to start the innings.  Photo: K. Pichumani

With an eye on the World Cup, M.S. Dhoni is of the view that Ajinkya Rahane is well-suited to start the innings. Photo: K. Pichumani

In a rare instance of M.S. Dhoni revealing his hand, he elaborated on the composition of the India team for the World Cup next year.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday ahead of the first ODI here between India and the West Indies, the India skipper said Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma would likely swap places with the former donning the opener’s role.

“I personally feel Ajinkya is well-suited to do the opener’s job. Even in the IPL, he opens and plays well on the most difficult wickets. He should take the responsibility of being the opener, which means Rohit can shift to the middle order. Ideally, it’s a place that suits both and gives us much more depth. It’s something we’ll have to wait and watch.”

Genuine concern

Dhoni made no bones about acknowledging, as he has done in the past, that death-bowling was a “genuine concern.” “The death bowling, with the extra fielder inside, has become tougher for the bowlers.

“(Mohammed) Shami is the one who has consistently bowled yorkers for us at the death. You may have a few variations but bowling good yorkers is non-negotiable.”

The 33-year-old said “too many” spinners won’t make the cut for the 2015 World Cup.

“We’ll have to see who all are there. Ravindra Jadeja is there, Axar Patel is there and he is someone who can contribute. We’re trying Kuldeep (Yadav) in this series, Amit Mishra is there. There are not many games, but we’ll see what we can achieve from the ODIs we have before the World Cup.”

Dhoni also spoke about ‘the bigger picture’ of winning the World Cup.

“The most important thing will be to look to win this series, but at the same time we want to do a few things.

“We don’t want to go to Australia and say, ‘Okay, we should have done this’. We’ll try to make the most of the opportunities we’ve got to see what all the cricketers we have can offer.”

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