There has been constant debate on whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni should bat up the order with questions being raised about his ability as a finisher but coach Anil Kumble made it clear that the veteran skipper has “enough experience” and “does not need time to settle down”.
Asked if Dhoni would be asked to bat up the order keeping in mind India’s Champions Trophy defence in UK next year, Kumble was quick to respond: “It all depends on match situations. While chasing you need more experience. As far as MS is concerned, he has enough experience. He has shown over the years that he has enough capabilities as a batsman.
“We don’t need to really look close at giving him time to settle in. You will probably see a different batting order depending on different situations.”
While flexibility remains key for Kumble, he did say that Manish Pandey is being looked at as a potential No. 4 due to his experience of handling pressure situations for long in domestic cricket as well as the spark that he has shown in his brief international career.
“We have a couple of options. Obviously, Manish is someone who has done really well in recent past. He started off really well in Dharamsala. It all depends on situations, may be someone else could walk up depending on whether we bat first or second. But Manish has shown a lot of promise and performance…something heartening. He has quite a bit of experience at domestic level unlike Hardik (Pandya) who is new at that level. He is certainly the No 4, we are looking into.”
Even as KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan’s injuries have opened the doors for Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order, Kumble feels a clearer picture will emerge only after the tour of England.
“I think Rahane certainly fits in at the top of the order so that is one thing we will persist with. Yes, it does give us an option once Shikhar and Rahul are fit but will only look at that when England come for the one-dayers (in January). So it’s a lot of time before the next one-day series.
“In this one-day series, definitely Rahane is going to open the batting. Looking at the Champions Trophy, we will then decide who will open the batting,” said the chief coach.