Former Indian cricketer and cricket analyst, Sanjay Manjrekar, was recently speaking about MS Dhoni's form with the bat and his spot in the Indian Cricket Team following his string of poor performance in the limited-overs cricket.
There is no doubt, Dhoni is a prime choice for the wicket-keeper’s role in the World Cup 2019 and no one can replace him in the business, but when it comes to batting, the Indian team management needs “tone down expectations” from the former skipper, felt Manjrekar.
Dhoni's woeful form with the bat in the recently concluded Asia cup 2018 has raised concerns over his spot in the national side, as his form and run rate keeps slumping with every passing series.
The veteran wicket-keeper batsman also failed to deliver in England before the Asia Cup 2018 and Manjrekar feels that Dhoni is no more the world-class batsman that he used to be, therefore, now the team management and captain Virat Kohli should not expect much from him as a batsman and even if he is in their plans for the upcoming World Cup 2019 in England.
Manjrekar said on Cricinfo's show, “Absolutely but I have always said that at this stage Dhoni is not the world-beater that he was. Just bat him down the order, today '(In Asia Cup 2018 final) he should not have come ahead of Kedar Jadhav. Kedar is an in-form batsman, a pure batsman. Tone down your expectations from Dhoni the batsman.”
Meanwhile, the Commentator admitted that Dhoni remains a brilliant wicket-keeper and someone Kohli needs around him in the World Cup, but suggested the national selectors to start looking at exciting option to replace him, as his “batting clearly a problem” and India will need a batter in England.
Manjrekar signed off by saying, “He (Dhoni) is a good keeper stumping everything that comes his way, a reliable keeper. Virat Kohli needs a person around him, World Cup pressure around him, a man with all the experience but his batting his clearly a problem and If India has an exciting option to replace Dhoni then they should start looking at it.”
While Dhoni has an opportunity to come up with more decent performances with the bat in the upcoming home West Indies series to prove his doubters wrong.