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India lucky to have Dhoni in dressing room: VVS Laxman


ANI Cricket
Amid a section of cricket fans criticising MS Dhoni for his slow-paced innings in World Cup matches, former Indian batsman VVS Laxman on Friday heaped praise on the wicketkeeper-cum-batsman and said that the team is lucky to have him in the dressing room.
"He (Dhoni) is the most experienced player and he always had the game-awareness. Dhoni is a kind of player who shares his knowledge with the youngsters. Not only batsmen, but bowlers also get benefit from Dhoni when they have a conversation. I think team India is very lucky to have MS Dhoni in the dressing room," Laxman told ANI.
Dhoni played a 28-run inning off 52 balls against Afghanistan on June 22. During West Indies clash on Thursday, he started slow but shifted gears as the game progressed and played some brawny knocks.
The former captain scored 56* runs from 61 balls which helped India post a 269-run target for the West Indies team, who then failed to chase the target and faced an embarrassing 125-run defeat.
India is now the only unbeaten team in the premier tournament and sits on the second position on the points table with 11 points, only one point behind top-positioned Australia.
Credit for India's stupendous form in the tournament goes to skipper Virat Kohli, feels Laxman, but he also opined that the 30-year old is not playing to his full potential.
"It is very important that you give importance to each game and you cannot think very far ahead. But the way Virat Kohli has done captaincy, it was proactive captaincy. And the confidence he has shown in his bowlers, it is good to see. I still think he is playing at 70 percent of his potential and can play even better. But despite playing at his 70 percent potential, the way India is managing to have convincing back-to-back wins, it is good to watch," he said.
After Shikhar Dhawan got ruled out from this edition of the quadrennial tournament due to injury, Vijay Shankar was included in the playing XI and Rishabh Pant also received a World Cup call.
However, all-rounder Shankar failed to leave a mark on the field with the bat and this might open doors for Pant or Dinesh Karthik.
Talking on the matter, Laxman said: "India team and the management do have the option. Vijay Shankar has been given the opportunity but his performance with the bat has not been that good so far. I think Dinesh Karthik is an experienced player, Rishabh Pant is a left-handed batsman and has been included after Shikhar Dhawan got injured. So the team management does have the option and it is yet to see when and where they are going to use it."
India are gearing up to face hosts England for their next clash which will take place on June 30.

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First Published: Jun 28 2019 | 6:03 PM IST

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