MS Dhoni replacement: TSR presents 3 players who can replace Dhoni in India’s squad for limited overs series vs West Indies
With reports of the former India captain MS Dhoni’s decision to make himself unavailable for selection in the limited-overs squad for upcoming series against West Indies, it is almost sure that the flamboyant left-hander- Rishabh Pant will be the automatic first choice wicket-keeper batsman in the 15-member squad to be announced on Sunday (July 21).
As per the BCCI’s top source, Dhoni has decided to take a two-month sabbatical leave to serve the Parachute regiment of the Indian Army, where he holds eminent post of Lieutenant Colonel.
Which players can be roped in as MS Dhoni’s replacement?
Dhoni has batted mostly at the No.5 position in the order in One-Day Internationals off-late in the bilateral series this year, and in most of the league matches in the 2019 World Cup.
With respect to his batting order, with scope of flexibility too in the spots, we present before you three possible replacements in the Indian squad for the limited-overs leg beginning August 3:
1. Manish Pandey
Until 2017, Manish Pandey looked like a serious bet for India at the middle order, especially at the most discussed No.4 spot in the batting order. But, his continuous string of unimpressive performances meant that he was dropped from the squad in September 2018.
But, his match winning century- 100 off 87 deliveries, in the 3rd unofficial ODI for India ‘A’ during the ongoing tour of West Indies might just have caught the eye of the selectors at the right time. Moreover, dearth of options coupled with the experience he brings to the table might be enough to pave his way into the 15-member squad.
Moreover, Pandey had also struck three half-centuries in the last four innings for his IPL franchise- Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in April 2019, adding further claim to his spot in the squad.
2. Ishan Kishan
With reports of Dinesh Karthik’s possibility of being dropped from the side, India might wish to try out the 21-year-old young prospect in the form of Ishan Kishan in the squad. Ishan, known for his aggressive brand of Cricket can also be tried out at different batting slots based on the match situation.
Moreover, if selectors are looking for back-up wicket-keeper options in its limited-overs squad, Ishan is the best option India has at the moment. The left-hander however, has not performed up to the mark in the ongoing fiv-match unofficial ODI series versus West Indies, with not even a single half-century under his belt.
Ishan possesses a healthy strike rate of 91.03 in 53 List A innings, and has scored 1818 runs at an average of 37.10.
3. Deepak Hooda
With only Hardik Pandya down the middle order assuming the role of a finisher, the selectors might even look for a player who can fit into the side to play that sort of an innings.
Primarily known for his aggressive brand of batting, Hooda can also play the role of an upper middle order batsman alongside his onslaught abilities lower down the order.
Hooda possesses a healthy average of 42.71 in his his 54 List-A innings. He has scored a total of 1965 runs at a strike rate of 95.71. Besides, he can also be utilised as an effective spin bowling action, during the middle-overs, as he has bowled at an economy of 4.43 in 35 List ‘A’ innings.