Dhoni all for aggression, but within boundaries


DHARAMSHALA: For long, MS Dhoni has been known to be a man unperturbed by situations, someone who doesn’t get fazed easily, hardly spotted with animated on the field. So even if the next generation of the Indian cricket team – particularly the one representing the country in Tests under Virat Kohli – doesn’t shy away from having a word or two with the opposition, Dhoni has managed to stick to his calm demeanour.

Aggression is one of the many overused terms in cricket. And even though Dhoni is one of the rare ones to be involved in any sort of heated exchange on the field, he knows a thing or two about using in the right way. On the eve of the Dharamshala T20, Dhoni pointed out that as long as things are within limits, a bit of everything, even aggression, does no harm.

“Aggression need not mean exchanging words or physical contact. Rahul Dravid had mentioned that aggression is like a good forward defense to a fast bowler. The same way, our guys are also learning how to channelise aggression in the right manner,” Dhoni said during the pre-match press conference on Thursday. “It’s good to show intent, but at the same time you need to be in your guidelines. We have to make sure that everyone is available and that no disciplinary action needs to be taken against anyone.”

Dhoni returns to the fore after a three-month hiatus. He only played one charity match recently against England after losing to Bangladesh earlier in June. Word is that he may be batting at No. 4, which he did in ODIs against Bangladesh, scoring 47 and 69. However, many Indian players have repeatedly gone on record saying that everyone can bat at any position. Dhoni too was no different, although he did relish the idea of batting higher.

“I would love to. We have to see the side composition, who is best suited to bat at what position,” Dhoni asserted. “Most of our players are top-order batsmen, but when it comes to T20, they all bat at different positions. For example, Rohit opens the innings and Ajinkya Rahane is someone who bats middle order in ODIs and Tests but opens in IPL. So we have to see which individual is best at what position and based on that I’ll take the call.”

Many assumed Suresh Raina to take up the role of a finisher if Dhoni goes up the order. But according to the Indian captain, the left-hander is really more of a full-fledged top-order batsman. He’s clearly been India’s best T20 batsman, and even though his international performance pales in comparison to his plaudits in the IPL, he still remains the only Indian batsman to score a century in the shortest format of the game.

“Raina is not a finisher. I don’t know whether it’s something good or bad that we play more IPL than T20 internationals, but if you notice carefully, he is somebody who has batted at No 3 throughout. We promoted him in 2010 during the World Cup in West Indies and he did well. But again, we have to place them strategically so that in serves the best interest of the team,” Dhoni said.

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